Over 300 Students Join VocalEssence for the World Premiere of New Works at the Basilica of Saint Mary
VocalEssence program links Mexican composers with area schools,
churches and choral organizations
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (May 4, 2010) – Over 300 area students and community members will join the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers to perform the world premieres of brand new works, written specifically for them by Mexican composers taking part in the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! Program. This year-long program culminates on Tuesday, May 25th (7 pm) with the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! Community Concert at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. The performance is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.
Free tickets are available at the following four locations:
Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Latino Communications Network (LCN Media), 1516 E. Lake Street Suite #200, Minneapolis
Consulate of Mexico, 797 E. 7th Street, St. Paul
Neighborhood House, 179 Robie Street E., St. Paul
Building on the tremendous success of its inaugural 2008-2009 season, the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! program links Mexican composers with the Twin Cities community through residencies in schools, churches, and choral organizations. This cross-cultural program creates a deeper understanding of the rich Mexican classical musical heritage, develops a new understanding of the traditions that are melding Mexican and American cultures, and creates a new body of Spanish language music for voices and instruments that will be shared with the community.
¡Cantaré! composers Jesús López and Diana Syrse first traveled to Minnesota in October 2009 to meet the ensembles they are working with during the 2009-2010 school year. Their purpose was to hear the ensembles sing and determine what kind of composition would be most appropriate for each group. After spending one week together, the composers returned to Mexico and spent the next two months writing new works for each choir, which were delivered to the singers in January 2010. In March 2010, the composers returned for a second visit with their ensembles to hear how rehearsals were proceeding with their brand new compositions, and to work directly with the singers.
Composers Jesús López and Diana Syrse return for a week in May to help prepare their choirs for the world premiere of their compositions at the 2010 VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! Community Concert. The concert will also feature new music written by Jorge Córdoba, one of the composers who participated in the last season’s inaugural ¡Cantaré! program.
Composer Residencies and Repertoire
The principal organist at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico, Jesús López has extensive experience working with school-age children and has composed a variety of choral works including Suite Romántica, which was dedicated to the Children’s Choir of La Schola Cantorum in Mexico. Jesús López is working with:
• Burroughs Community School (Minneapolis)
Approximately 130 second grade students will perform “Velero de Papel” and “Ensueños.”
• Adams Spanish Immersion School (St. Paul)
Approximately 100 fourth grade students will perform “El Barquito de Papel” and “Clavelito.”
• Latino Children’s Choir, a group of young people from several area churches hosted by Ascension Church in north Minneapolis.
Approximately 35 students will perform “Festividad de la Sagrada Familia” and “Himno de Vísperas.”
• VocalEssence Chorus
“En Paz” will be performed by the 100 members of the VocalEssence Chorus.
Surrounded by music of all styles from a young age, Diana Syrse has a wide range of experience writing choral works for organizations such as La Coordinadora Internacional de Mujeres en el Arte and Vox LaTina as well as conducting workshops in contemporary compositional techniques. Diana Syrse is working with:
• Como Park High School (St. Paul)
Approximately 25 girls will perform “Tierra de Maíz.”
• Washburn High School (Minneapolis)
Approximately 25 students will perform “Alma Libre.”
• Andover High School (Andover)
Approximately 50 students will perform “La Iglesia de San Juan.”
• All three high school choirs will join forces to perform “Cara de Pingo” and “Popurri.”
Jorge Córdoba was featured as one the inaugural composers in the 2009 VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! program and is currently serving as mentor to Jesús López and Diana Syrse this season. A native of Mexico City, he has gained prominence as a composer and conductor, performing throughout his homeland, as well as in Spain, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, and the United States. Jorge studied at the National Conservatory of Mexico and served as artistic director for several well-known choirs, including the National Youth Choir, University National Choir, and Madrigalist Choir of the National Institute of Fine Arts. Jorge Córdoba is composing a hymn that will be performed by all participating ensembles.
Additional information about the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! program is available at: www.vocalessence.org/cantareconcert2010. For press information and photographs related to the ¡Cantaré! Community Concert, contact Jennifer Bauer (612-547-1459, email@example.com).
Funding for the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! program has been generously
provided by The Minneapolis Foundation, General Mills, Best Buy, RBC
Dain Rauscher, and Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation.