Yale International Choral Festival explores, connects cultures

Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Photo by Stephanie Berger

For the third year, the Yale International Choral Festival (June 12-16) will feature performances by vocal ensembles from around the world and lectures designed to add context to those programs.

Hosted by the Yale Glee Club and organized with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Yale School of Music, and Yale Alumni Chorus, the Choral Festival will welcome to New Haven ensemble cantissimo, a group of German and Swiss vocalists; the Muslim Choral Ensemble, a Sri Lankan group that was established in 2017; the Young People’s Chorus of New York City; Staccato, a group from the National Autonomous University of Mexico; the Yale Choral Artists; and the Yale Alumni Chorus.

Jeffrey Douma, director of the Yale Glee Club, founding director of the Yale Choral Artists, and artistic director of the Choral Festival, had tried to bring the Tehran Vocal Ensemble to New Haven but could not make that work. Still, members of that group will participate via live stream in Nahid Siamdoust’s June 14 lecture “Islam & Music: The Case of Iran,” which is informed by Siamdoust’s book Soundtrack of the Revolution: The Politics of Music in Iran. Siamdoust is a postdoctoral associate in the Yale Program in Iranian Studies at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. While the Tehran Vocal Ensemble, Douma said, is largely a secular choir, the nascent Muslim Choral Ensemble is “the first ensemble devoted exclusively to Muslim choral music in South Asia, if not in the world.”

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City is no newcomer to the choral scene. Established 30 years ago with a mission “to provide children of all cultural and economic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance that seeks to fulfill each child’s potential,” the ensemble will perform the premiere of Paola Prestini’s The Glass Box alongside the Yale Choral Artists. In doing so, members of the Young People’s Chorus will sing about peers in terrible circumstances.

Prestini’s The Glass Box was inspired by Rachel Aviv’s April 2017 New Yorker piece “The Trauma of Facing Deportation” and the “resignation syndrome” described therein that has afflicted refugees in Sweden. The performance will include projections by Kevork Mourad, a New York-based Syrian artist of Armenian heritage. The Young People’s Chorus-Yale Choral Artists performance will be repeated in New York City on a program that will also include YSM faculty composer David Lang’s the national anthems, a piece that points to the violent themes that mark most national anthems.

The Choral Festival fits perfectly into the Arts & Ideas Festival, presenting compelling performances and talks aimed at connecting local audiences to the wider world through the human voice. “It is our hope,” language on the Choral Festival website reads,” that this year’s festival will be a concrete and vital demonstration of the ways in which the arts in general and choral singing in particular can help create understanding between people in a world that too often feels increasingly divided.”

YALE INTERNATIONAL CHORAL FESTIVAL

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS & IDEAS

Published June 7, 2018
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[ in the press ]

International voices, raised in song this week at Yale Choral Fest

New Haven Register | By Joe Amarante

Entrevoces of Cuba

NEW HAVEN >> You may not be born a fan of choruses, but you should acquire the musical taste after you’ve heard enough of them.

And the Elm City will present that opportunity with five days in choral heaven starting Tuesday, when Yale’s International Choral Festival rolls out nightly as a side offering of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.

All events are at lovely Morse Recital Hall in Yale’s Sprague Hall on College Street, except for Saturday’s grand finale (see below). Tickets to all shows are $45 in advance, $50 day of the show (but the Saturday event is free). MORE

Published June 17, 2015
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[ in the press ]

Yale Choral Festival: Building Connections Between People Through Music

singapore_choir_web

National University of Singapore Choir

WNPR | By Diane Orson

Choirs from Singapore, Sweden, Cuba, and Jerusalem will converge in New Haven next week for the Yale International Choral Festival, a collaborative project with the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.

Jeffrey Douma is a professor of conducting at the Yale School of Music and the director of the Yale Glee Club. He said the festival is first about celebrating great music and great singing. MORE

Published June 11, 2015
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[ events ]

Choirs from around the world to converge at Yale June 16–20

Via YaleNews | By Bess Connolly Martell

groupphoto

A group photo of all of the visiting choirs from the first Yale International Choral Festival held in 2012

The second Yale International Choral Festival — an event produced in collaboration with the Yale School of Music, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, and the Yale Alumni Chorus — will take place June 16–20.

Hosted by the Yale Glee Club, the festival will feature renowned choirs from around the world who will gather for five days of singing, learning, and exploring the connections that choral music fosters between people. Each evening there will be a formal concert in Yale’s Sprague Hall, and each day will be filled with lectures, workshops, and master classes led by visiting conductors and Yale faculty, including the first Eric Ericson International Choral Centre Conducting 21C master class offered outside of Stockholm, Sweden.

Ensembles in this year’s festival will include Sweden’s Voces Nordicae, Cuba’s Entrevoces, the National University of Singapore Choir, and the Jerusalem Youth Chorus, along with the Yale Choral Artists and the Yale Alumni Chorus. MORE

Published June 2, 2015
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[ events ]

Yale hosts international festival of choirs

Manado State University Choir

Renowned choirs from four continents will come together on the Yale campus June 19–23 for the first Yale International Choral Festival: five days of singing, learning, and celebrating the transcendent power of choral music to connect and inspire people from all cultures and all walks of life. Participating ensembles include the Central Conservatory of Music Chorus, Beijing; the Cambridge University Consort of Voices, UK; Manado State University Choir, Indonesia; the Imilonji Kantu Choral Society, South Africa; and two Yale choral groups: the renowned Yale Alumni Chorus and the newly formed professional ensemble Yale Choral Artists.

Each evening will feature a formal concert in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College St.) by individual choirs, and each day will be filled with lectures, workshops, and master classes led by visiting conductors, guests, and Yale faculty.

Imilonji Kantu Choral Society

Sponsored by the Yale Glee Club (Jeffrey Douma, director), the Yale School of Music, and the Yale Alumni Chorus, the event is part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which takes place in New Haven June 16–30. MORE

Published May 25, 2012
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