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.
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:
From Downtown Phoenix Journal by Colin Columna:
Downtown is more than a grid system of streets and square miles. It is defined by something more. In this short series, new DPJ contributor, Colin Columna hones in on the five senses as his guide to explore what makes downtown Phoenix unique.
With our ears attuned to the nuanced sounds of downtown Phoenix, from the distinctive “ding ding” of an approaching light rail train, to the sounds of laughter from people on their bikes and a radio playing from the open window of a passing car, we begin. Our first stop on this downtown sensory tour is along Phoenix’s cultural highway, Central Avenue, at the intersection with Roosevelt Street. On the northwest corner stands the landmark Trinity Cathedral, spiritual home of the Episcopal congregation and secular home to the renowned Phoenix Chorale.