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.
We’re looking forward to having Kansas City organist Jan Kraybill join us next week for our concerts titled “Requiem: Day of the Dead.” She’ll perform with us on the world premiere of J.A.C. Redford’s He That Will Learn to Pray, Let Him Go to Sea, and on the Duruflé Requiem. (Concert info here & tickets here.)
Watch Jan perform Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” on the Auditorium Organ at Community of Christ International Headquarters in Independence, MO:
Learn more about Jan with her complete bio:
Jan Kraybill is Principal Organist for the Dome and Spire Organ Foundation, an affiliate of the international headquarters of Community of Christ in Independence, Missouri, and Organ Conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. She regularly plays and oversees the care of the three largest pipe organs in the Kansas City metro area: the Community of Christ Auditorium’s 113-rank Aeolian-Skinner (installed in 1959) and Temple’s 102-rank Casavant (1993), and the 102-rank Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant (2012) at the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall.
Dr. Kraybill and volunteer staff organists provide music for worship services and present free organ demonstration recitals at the Auditorium and Temple. Jan also co-coordinates the church’s Dome and Spire concert series, leads international hymn festivals, teaches workshops, and is a resource person for the denomination’s musicians. At the Kauffman Center, she performs and hosts guest organists for both solo and collaborative musical events. Jan has piano performance and education degrees from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and a doctorate in organ performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. In 2010 she earned the Fellow certificate from the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the highest certification available for organists.
While in high school in Colby, Kansas, Jan was invited to perform her first European piano recital in Andover, England. Since then she has performed in many venues in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, Poland, Russia, South Korea, and Tahiti, and has undertaken multiple tours of the United Kingdom, including organ concerts at the grand cathedrals of Chester, Exeter, and St. Paul’s in London. She has performed on regional and national conventions of the AGO, the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and other musicians’ organizations, and has been featured on Kansas Public Radio and on American Public Media’s nationally broadcast program Pipedreams. She has collaborated as pianist, harpsichordist and organist with many ensembles, including the Bach Aria Soloists, the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus, the Phoenix Chorale, and the Kansas City Chorale. Four solo CDs are available. Two by 2: Two Organ Symphonies on Two Magnificent Organs features both of Community of Christ’s pipe organs. Rejoice and Remember: Piano Music for All Seasons contains arrangements of favorite hymns. The Auditorium Organ: Fifty Years of Excellence, celebrated that organ’s 50th anniversary in 2009. The first CD of the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant, by Reference Recordings, is Organ Polychrome, released in 2014. A disc containing Saint-Saën’s “Organ” Symphony with the Kansas City Symphony will be available in 2015.
Outside Community of Christ, Jan is a musical leader in a wide variety of worship styles in many denominations and is very active as a masterclass and workshop clinician, hymn festival director, and organ consultant. She also teaches workshops on fostering personal creativity in church and corporate settings. She has served in many elected local and regional roles in the AGO, on the Executive Committee of The Hymn Society, and on the Board of Directors of the Master Teacher Institute. She is a member ofMensa. Her extra-musical interests include antiquing, lace making, and riding her Harley-Davidson with her husband, Allan.
Visit jankraybill.com for more information and Jan’s concert schedule.
My mom has stories that are recycled and retold during family get-togethers. Most of the time these stories increase in exaggeration or lose detail with every telling, but one such story that my mom tells anyone who asks how or when I started singing goes something like this:
I am young, somewhere around the age of 6, listening to Leonard Bernstein’s recording of Mozart’s Requiem as loud as technologically possible—it was the early 90s after all. To me, this seemed like a normal thing to do as a 6 year old, but in hindsight, I can definitely see why my mom thought that something was…..different. There are other stories in the same vein; sitting enthralled by a family friend’s barbershop quartet, still having Vivaldi’s Four Seasons memorized note for note, but nothing came close to the emotional draw and captivation I felt when I heard the Phoenix Boys Choir for the first time.
As many of their fans know, boys choirs have a sound all to their own and I wanted to be a part of the group. It was one of the musical experiences I still hold most dear. However, at the time I didn’t know how much this decision would inform the rest of my career and life.
The next several years contributed much to who I am today. The amount of time spent in the building on 12th Street and Missouri, or standing at some Basha’s or AJ’s entrance selling Sweepstakes tickets, missing school for concerts, and learning how to tie my own tie as a 10 year old, all had an impact. Although I met many musical mentors singing with the Phoenix Boys Choir, it was only by the vision and support of Dr. Harvey K. Smith that I found the lifelong courage to pursue music. He instilled within every boy a sense of responsibility and respect that I hold dear.
Not only was Dr. Smith a great mentor, but he taught me to love singing. After singing with the Boys Choir, I knew that I wanted to continue singing in choirs. It was only in my wildest dreams that I could have seen myself singing with the Phoenix Chorale, which has come to mean just as much to who I am as the Phoenix Boys Choir.
Now, after about 15 years, I can delve deeply into two requiems that are important parts of the choral repertoire. I still listen to these works with the same amazement and awe that first struck me while listening to Mozart’s Requiem. As I reflect upon Dr. Smith, a man who gave so much of his being to so many boys, I can only wonder how his mentorship and kindness affected generations of sons, brothers, fathers, and grandfathers. It is an honor to get to perform these works in honor of one of my earliest musical mentors.
-Ryan Downey, Bass in the Phoenix Chorale
We will be holding our Requiem: Day of the Dead concerts on November 1st and November 2nd. Please join us in commemorating the dearly departed through this concert of transcendence, inspiration, and uplift. Buy tickets here.
Our first concert trailer of the season is here!
Featuring Phoenix Chorale bass Ryan Downey, watch and learn a bit about our Requiem: Day of the Dead concerts on November 1-2 and about how Ryan began his career as a singer.
Or call us at 602.253.2224.
Friday, October 3
at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Celebrate the kick-off of our 2014/15 Season at our first event of the year — our Free Open Rehearsal! We’ll be rehearsing for our “Requiem: Day of the Dead” concerts (held on Nov. 1-2). Everyone gets a free raffle ticket to try to win CDs and more.
Be sure to stop by the Olney Gallery for the opening night of Joan Waters‘ three-dimensional welded steel sculptures. The Olney Gallery is located near the courtyard labyrinth on the north side of the Trinity Cathedral campus.
We invite new friends and new fans, subscribers and donors — everyone is welcome at our Free Open Rehearsals! And remember, these events are casual so come as you are, whenever you want, and stay as long as you’d like!
Mark your calendar! We’ll host 3 more Free Open Rehearsals this season: December 5, February 6, & April 17.
Our 2014/15 Season brochure is at the printer. Check it out before it arrives in your mailbox!
Our 2014/15 Season is on sale now!
1) REQUIEM: Day of the Dead
2) A CHORALE CHRISTMAS Pärt & Gjeilo
3) DESERT SONG featuring R. Carlos Nakai
4) THE BARD’S TALE Music & Scenes from Shakespeare
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In several religious traditions around the world, the first days of November are celebrated as All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day, and they are familiar in Mexico and the American Southwest as Dia de Muertos (“Day of the Dead”). We’re honoring this weekend of observances through requiem settings by two choral masters: Herbert Howells and Maurice Duruflé. Concert info >>
“Where has this fabulous choir been all my life?” — American Record Guide
That’s the opening line of our first review by the American Record Guide in 2004. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we released Shakespeare in Song! 10 years ago we were known as the Phoenix Bach Choir and we released our first solo recording. Shakespeare in Song is also our first recording on Chandos Records.
We’re excited to bring many of these songs to you at the end of our season LIVE when we present The Bard’s Tale: Music & Scenes from Shakespeare (April 25-26, 2015). And we’ve invited actors from Theater Works to help us bring the music to life! Concert details >>
Listen to Shakespeare in Song: