11-1-07: VocalEssence and Clarion Records launch Heritage series with "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass"
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (November 1, 2007) – This fall, VocalEssence and Clarion Records are launching Heritage: The American Choral Experience, a new series of CDs celebrating the remarkable diversity and excellence of choral music by American composers.
The first disc in the series is The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass (Clarion CLR931CD), the world premiere recording of a new piece composed for VocalEssence by Carol Barnett with libretto by Marisha Chamberlain. First performed in January 2007 by VocalEssence and Monroe Crossing, the Upper Midwest’s leading bluegrass band, this fresh approach to a traditional theme has already captured the attention of choruses across the country.
"The World Beloved effectively combines the earthiness of bluegrass fiddle, mandolin and banjo with hauntingly beautiful harmonies and a rich text that lingers with the listener," proclaims VocalEssence Artistic Director Philip Brunelle. "It is the perfect entry point for choral music lovers to the sound of bluegrass – and for bluegrass fans to the beauty of choral singing."
A further exploration of the American choral music experience is reflected in ten additional selections by composers acknowledged as masters by the National Endowment of the Arts through its nationwide initiative American Masterpieces: Choral Music. Originally recorded for the American Public Media program Saint Paul Sunday, these ten works span the centuries from William Billings to Randall Thompson to Eric Whitacre. "All of the composers presented on this CD display a passion for writing for voices and bringing the text to life through music," says Philip Brunelle.
The official release date for The World Beloved is Tuesday, November 13, 2007. Also in the Heritage series is The Songs We Sang – Favorite American Folksongs (Clarion CLR932CD). For a press/promotional copy of the CD and further information, please contact Katryn Conlin at VocalEssence (email@example.com, 612-547-1459).