SARATOGA CHORAL FESTIVAL 15TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR!
Join us this July for the fifteenth annual Saratoga
Choral Festival. Singers will meet for rehearsals over a three-week period in Saratoga Springs beginning Tuesday,
July 14th, and will perform in a concert open to the public at the SPA LITTLE THEATER in SPA State Park on
August 2nd, at 3:00 p.m. As
part of the city’s centennial celebration, the Saratoga Choral Festival will present a concert of music by Yaddo composers
past and present. Yaddo and Saratoga Living Magazine are co-sponsoring the concert, which will include a presentation of historic
photographs by editor Field Horne and videographer Ralph Pascucci. An optional brunch at the Gideon Putnam Hotel will precede
by world-renowned Yaddo composers Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici, and
spiritual and sacred choral works by Nathaniel Dett, one of the few African American composers invited to Yaddo in the early
years, will be featured.
Dett (1882–1943) was one of the most successful black composers of his time. After becoming the first
African American to receive a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin in 1908, Dett later received a Master’s degree from
the Eastman School of Music. He is remembered for using folk songs and spirituals— “the melodies of enslaved people”—in
his choral and piano compositions, lyric and operatic works, and concertos.
Included on the program is rarely heard music by a more recent Yaddo resident and Skidmore
professor Evan Mack (The Fountain) and Thomas Oboe Lee (Mechthild von Magdeburg for chorus and strings).
Other selections will be Del Tredici’s Acrostic Song from Final Alice, Copland’s The Promise
of Living, Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, Louise Talma’s Let’s Touch the Sky for choir
and winds, Virgil Thompson’s Hymns from the Old South, Ned Rorem’s Give All to Love for choir
and piano, and more.
The Saratoga Choral Festival began in the summer of 2001. Previous
seasons have featured music ranging from Bach’s Magnificat (featuring members of the Philadelphia Orchestra)
and Gretchaninov’s Liturgia Domestica, to the 2013 Dave Brubeck tribute concert at the SPA LITTLE THEATER starring the talented protege Eldar
Jangirov. It was our largest audience in the history of the Festival, and a new and wonderful experience for the choir!
The Festival has also had the priviledge of performing with the Philadelphia orchestra in Mahler’s 3rd
Symphony with the Harlem Boys Choir under the direction of Charles Dutoit at SPAC.
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PO Box 291
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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