Choirtap [k-wire-tap] - noun, verb, -tapped, -tapping, adjective.
1. a blog on, about, for and/or by the Phoenix Chorale. the act or instance of writing a blog about or pertaining to the Phoenix Chorale
Choirtap [k-wire-tap] - noun, verb, -tapped, -tapping, adjective.
“[To] watch him rehearse the choir isn’t just entertaining, it is enlightening,” reports Kerry Lengel with the Arizona Republic, “He communicates the nuances he’s looking for through poetical descriptions but also with body language, puffing up, curling over into a physical metaphor for the sound he wants to hear.”
When you attend a concert performance you will see the Chorale at their best; the men looking sharp in their suits, the ladies dazzling in dresses, all of them ready to give a performance that is well rehearsed, effortless and confident. But what if I told you that a few of the most magical and artistic moments actually occur before the first concert?
At our Free Open Rehearsals you can experience the same vibrant voices you hear in performance but additionally you will hear the voice of Artistic Director, Charles Bruffy, who directs Chorale members with his musical expression and artistic interpretation. You will hear the subtle shifts in color, balance, and text emphasis with Charles guiding the ensemble in their efforts to shape each note with great intention.
Our Free Open Rehearsals are a win – win situation for everyone. If you have attended a Phoenix Chorale concert you already know their sound is simply entrancing and maybe you don’t want to spoil the luster of their polished performance with a rehearsal preview.
I assure you the preview doesn’t spoil, rather, it will enhance your experience by making you a part of the process. Charles wants Chorale concerts to be transcendent, and he isn’t afraid to ask his audience if there is still work to be done in order to get it there.
At our first Free Open Rehearsal of the season in October, Charles asked the audience, “I think what we have accomplished so far is pretty darn good. But have we gotten your hairs yet?” (He’s clearly referring to the sensation of getting chills or goose bumps when music is exceptionally moving.)
Ignite your holiday spirit with us at our Free Open Rehearsal this Friday! Hang out and relax while the Chorale prepares for their upcoming concert, “A Chorale Christmas: Ceremony of Carols” (Dec. 19-22).
No tickets or reservations are necessary – come as you are, whenever you want, and stay as long as you’d like! Free Open Rehearsals are held during the downtown Phoenix First Friday Artwalk along Roosevelt Row.
FREE Open Rehearsal – Friday, Dec. 6, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (100 W. Roosevelt St.)
I’ll be there with a smile on, ready to welcome you and your friends and family!
- Sarah E. Smith, Marketing & Communications Intern
December 19-22, 2013
It simply isn’t Christmastime until you hear our annual holiday concerts! This year we’re honoring Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday by performing A Ceremony of Carols, which features the women of the Phoenix Chorale and renowned Kansas City harpist Tabitha Reist Steiner. We’ll also sing music by John Rutter, Herbert Howells, Cecilia McDowall and more. As always, you’re invited to raise your voice with us as we sing Christmas carols together!
Watch the concert trailer here:
Just come as you are, whenever you want and stay as long as you’d like. You’ll get a special behind-the-scenes look at the music in the making as we prepare for our holiday concerts, “A Chorale Christmas: Ceremony of Carols“ (December 19-22, 2013) in this very casual atmosphere.
Open Rehearsal – Friday, December 6, 2013
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
(100 W. Roosevelt St., Phoenix) map
We’ll host two more open rehearsals this season during the First Friday Artwalk (along Roosevelt Row) inside Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in March and April. Click here for more details.
The Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale released its first live recording, a compilation of Christmas music over five years of holiday concerts performed in venues across the Phoenix metro-area between 2005 and 2010.
Titled “Of A Rose,” the recording features an array of songs celebrating the holiday season under the direction of Artistic Director Charles Bruffy. To view notes, texts, and translations, click here.
For more information about all Phoenix Chorale recordings, click here.
The Phoenix Chorale is seeking a Marketing & Communications Intern for the Spring 2014 semester, beginning in late January.
As Marketing & Communications Intern, you will gain a broad range of experience in a variety of areas including (but not limited to) social media, media relations, patron services, concert operations, fundraising, box office, event planning, concert promotion, administrative support, and special projects as assigned.
Previous experience in any of these areas is a plus – but not required – as this position receives on-the-job training. Click here for more details on this internship.
Apply now! The deadline to apply is December 13, 2013.
The song “Amazing Grace” has a history as remarkable as its popularity being among America’s most well-known and recorded pieces of music. The story begins with John Newton, an English sailor-man who underwent a Christian conversion after experiencing the trials of life on the sea. Starting a new life as a Preacher, Newton focused on writing hymns to amplify the message of his sermons.
In 1772 Newton composed the original hymn, “Amazing Grace” which contained six stanzas; the first 3 emphasize his separation from and journey to finding God, the later stanzas evolve to show God’s greatness as the source for grace in times of trial. The hymn was first heard on New Year’s Day in 1773, but the familiar words weren’t sung to the tune we know and love today. In fact “Amazing Grace” has been associated with over 20 different melodies since its creation.
In 1835 Newton’s lyrics were paired with the familiar melody, known then as “New Britain,” and was published in a songbook, The Southern Harmony, by singing instructor William Walker. However in 1910, the song was re-published with only the first three of Newton’s stanzas and was paired with a new, fourth stanza by songwriter and publisher, Edwin Othello Excell, “When we’ve been there ten thousand years…”.
John Newton says, “[In America], the conversion experience is more prominent… It seems to be the definitive song of the personal conversion experience.” Sure enough, “Amazing Grace” climbed into great popularity eventually breaking out of the sacred music genre with its great influence in folk music and as an African American Spiritual. With the “power to transform” and to heal, the song reached the pop charts in the U.K. the U.S. when Judy Collins released her version 1971 and it is estimated to be performed about 10 million times a year.
Judy was really in to this song!
The Phoenix Chorale’s upcoming concert “Amazing Grace” features the titled song in various forms though you will never miss the familiar tune or words in any of the renditions. Ēriks Ešenvalds, born in 1977, has become a highly awarded Latvian composer. His ethereal, floating harmonies give a heavenly lightness to the heavy hearted lyrics of “Amazing Grace”. Published in 2007, Ešenvalds included John Newton’s neglected 4th verse in his expansive rendition of the song. The addition of the verse is meant to clarify the meaning and source of grace.
Hyowon Woo presents a new musical vision in choral music and has presented a great contribution to the development of choral music in Korea. After graduating from Sungshin Women’s University in 1995, her fresh creativity led her to the position of composer residencies of Seoul Ladies’ Singers in 1995, and later to Inchon City Chorale in 1999. These collaborations earned her the reputation as a specialist of new choral compositional techniques. Her open harmonies give a
different, cultural feel to the American standard, leaving space for Woo to create the illusion of a new environment all together.
Don’t miss your chance to hear immerse yourself in the incredibly deep history behind “Amazing Grace” at the Phoenix Chorale concert this weekend. We are pairing up with folk band Run Boy Run for an exciting concert filled with your favorite spirituals, hymn and gospel songs as well as a fun and beautiful set of bluegrass influence folk tunes. Tickets are going fast – I can’t wait to see the story behind the song come alive this weekend!
Program notes for “Amazing Grace” are now available. READ PROGRAM NOTES >>
Watch the concert trailer:
Selections by Run Boy Run
Bluegrass, Southern hymn arrangements:
See you this weekend! BUY TICKETS >>
My day began at 9:30 am and was packed with a video shoot, setting up for our first Free Open Rehearsal of the 2013/14 Season, a reception for the Chorus America Board of Directors, and the open rehearsal. It was an eventful day – but I can’t begin without first mentioning that Jen Rogers, VP of Marketing & Communications at the Phoenix Chorale, is the rock star on event planning and group coordination. Anyone can assume that a video shoot would require a lot of planning, but Jen’s high standard of detail made the day smooth sailing and fun!
The first part of the day was dedicated to creating a concert trailer for our upcoming concerts “Amazing Grace,” featuring the Phoenix Chorale with folk band Run Boy Run. The goal was to capture show that everything is better with fiddle and after experiencing this process I can attest to the fact that “Everything IS Better with Fiddle!” The video stars Matt Rolland – fiddler extraordinaire from Run Boy Run – and features Phoenix Chorale singers, staff, and friends.
Shot 1: The shoot began at the Roosevelt Arts District light rail stop across from our office. We quickly got in place, Matt began fiddling, the light rail came and went and before I knew it the first shot of the day was over and we were racing to the next location.
Shot 2: We walked into a nearby workout room and our featured runner, still warmed up from her morning run, jumped onto the treadmill and put Matt’s fiddling to work as her workout soundtrack.
Shot 3: Our crew then rushed off to the vibrant mural outside of Carly’s Bistro. Don’t miss my big cameo with some unstoppable roller blade cruisin’ dance moves!
Shot 4: With no time to waste, we packed up two cars and left for the historic mid-century Clarendon Hotel. With it’s laid-back vibe, the Clarendon was a wonderful backdrop. We started at the iconic (and most photographed pool in Arizona!) with a cool shot of a gorgeous sun bather – a scene that would make anyone long for a margarita!
Shot 5: We moved inside for a scene in the elevator, which proved to be an interesting challenge. It was one thing to juggle the mirrored doors, dim lighting and sharp camera angles with the whole crew in the small lobby space, but wouldn’t you know it, there were other people trying to use the elevator! Clarendon staff and guests were hardly phased by our presence and showed organic proof that when a fiddle is being played, it’s difficult to feel inconvenienced.
Shot 6: For our final location we headed to midtown to the beautiful offices of Orcutt / Winslow, an architectural firm on the 17th floor. Our crew invaded the cubicles to recreate an “average” day at the office. Although, far from average was the incredible view of Phoenix seen through the surrounding large windows – what a treat!
At exactly 12:55 p.m., Jen yelled, “That’s a wrap!” and we packed up our equipment. The three hour video shoot went very well, but our day still held at least another eight hours of work. After a much needed celebratory lunch, Jen and I set up for the Free Open Rehearsal at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Before rehearsal began we had a chance to stop in at the reception for the Chorus America Board of Directors. It a pleasure to meet distinguished board members and hear choral news from across the country.
Rehearsal began at 6:30 p.m. and with the Cathedral doors open to Roosevelt Row, the Chorale acted as sirens calling in art enthusiasts from Phoenix’s First Friday Artwalk. Even the un-dead were keen to the beautiful sounds – we had a memorable visit from a zombie family who had wandered in to enjoy the music from Phoenix’s 1st Annual Zombie Homecoming! I will remember Friday, October 4 as a very special day in my time as an intern with the Phoenix Chorale, not just because it was a long day (we finished at about 10:30 pm), but because it was incredibly successful and I had a blast!
- Sarah Smith, Marketing & Communications Intern
Click to see more photos of my crazy day:
Oh, you want tickets for “Amazing Grace??” Click here >>
The finished product — “Everything is Better with a Fiddle:”