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Sounds Choral: Choral Singing in the Age of Covid-19

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Sounds Choral presents a special three-week series focusing on the way the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the choral world. Our regular roster of Sounds Choral hosts joins David Osenberg for a Zoom roundtable discussion about the way the pandemic has shut down choral performances and how their ensembles have reacted.

Listen Sunday (10/4, 10/11 and 10/18) at 2 pm.

Roundtable members will be: Ryan Brandau, Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica, Monmouth Civic Chorus and Amor Artis; Gabriel Crouch, Founder and Director of Gallicantus, and Director of Choral Activities at Princeton University; James Jordan, professor, Westminster Choir College, Conductor of the Williamson Voices, and Artistic Director and Conductor of The Same Stream choir; Steven Sametz, Artistic Director of The Princeton Singers and Director of Choral Activities at Lehigh University; Deborah Simpkin King, Founder and Artistic Director of Schola Cantorum on Hudson; and Ethan Sperry, Professor of Music at Portland State University and Artistic Director of the Oregon Repertory Singers. 

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Week 2 - What Choirs are doing now

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Part 3- Looking past Co-Vid

Deborah Simpkin King, Ph.D., is a choral conductor, new music advocate, and master teacher. She plays an active role in the vibrant Manhattan choral scene and serves the national and international music community through her guest conducting and body of published work.
Ryan James Brandau brings to the podium broad experience conducting a variety of choral and orchestral ensembles. He is the Artistic Director of the Amor Artis, a 35-voice chamber chorus and orchestra in New York City. He is also the Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica and the Monmouth Civic Chorus. In addition, Dr. Brandau serves on the faculty of Westminster Choir College, where he has prepared the Westminster Symphonic Choir for performances with the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Formerly, he was Director of Choral Activities at Santa Clara University and Artistic Director of the Santa Clara Chorale and Choirmaster of the acclaimed all-professional choir of Christ Church, New Haven. He has worked with a variety of other professional, community, collegiate, children’s and church ensembles. As a professional singer, Ryan has been heard with ensembles in the US, Europe, and Asia, including the American Bach Soloists, the Choir of King’s College Cambridge, the Arcadia Players, Yale Schola Cantorum, and the Choir of Clare College Cambridge. He remains active as a choral arranger, composer, and clinician. His arrangements and compositions have been featured by choral ensembles across the globe.
Grammy™-nominated conductor James Jordan, Artistic Director and Conductor of The Same Stream is recognized and praised throughout the musical world as one of America’s pre-eminent conductors, recording artist, writer, music psychologist and innovators in choral music. He was described as a “visionary” by The Choral Journal, which cited his book Evoking Sound as a “must read.” His more than 45 books explore both the philosophical and spiritual basis of musicianship, as well as aspects of choral rehearsal teaching and learning and are considered to be essential books in the conducting profession. His book Evoking Sound has been praised by the Choral Journal as a “must read.” At Westminster Choir College he is professor and senior conductor, and he conducts Westminster Schola Cantorum and the critically acclaimed Westminster Williamson Voices. He is also director of the Westminster Conducting Institute and co-director of the Choral Institute at Oxford.
Gabriel Crouch is Director of Choral Activities and Senior Lecturer in Music at Princeton University. He began his musical career as an eight-year-old in the choir of Westminster Abbey, where he performed a solo at the wedding of HRH Prince Andrew and Miss Sarah Ferguson. After completing a choral scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was offered a place in the renowned a cappella group The King's Singers in 1996. In the next eight years he made a dozen recordings on the BMG label (including a grammy nomination), and gave more than 900 performances in almost every major concert venue in the world.
Composer and conductor Steven Sametz serves as the Artistic Director of the professional chamber choir The Princeton Singers and is Director of Choral Activities at Lehigh University. He has appeared as guest conductor with the New York Chamber Symphony, the Taipei Philharmonic Foundation, the Berkshire Music Festival and the Netherlands Radio Choir appearing in such venues as Avery Fisher Hall, the Schubertsaal at the Vienna State Opera House, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall (Russia), Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (Taipei) and Berlin Philharmonic Hall.
Hailed by The Oregonian for providing “the finest choral concerts in Portland in recent memory,” Ethan Sperry is Director of Choral Activities at Portland State University, where he conducts the world-renowned Chamber Choir and leads undergraduate and graduate programs in conducting. He is also the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Oregon Repertory Singers, one of the America’s most distinguished adult choruses. Choirs under his direction have performed at over a dozen ACDA and NAfME Conferences, won over thirty awards and medals at international choir competitions on four continents, and sung at The Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center, and the United Nations. Under his direction in 2013 The Portland State Chamber Choir became the first American Choir ever to win the Grand Prix at the Seghizzi International Choral Contest in Italy, and in 2017 they became the first American choir to win the Grand Prix at the Bali International Choral Festival, the largest choral gathering in Asia.