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Greetings from Kansas City, Missouri, where everything is up-to-date and we’ve gone about as far as we can go! My name is Katie Crawford, and I am so pleased to write a guest post for the official Phoenix Chorale blog. I am lucky enough to sing alto in that other award-winning choral ensemble conducted by Charles Bruffy, the Kansas City Chorale. In case you missed it, the Phoenix Chorale is coming together with the Kansas City Chorale in April and May to form a SUPERCHORALE and perform Rachmaninoff’s incredible Op. 37, the All-Night Vigil. Do you have any idea just how big of a deal this is? It’s big. The groups haven’t performed together since 2009, so everyone is really excited to collaborate and make some incredible music that is sure to please audiences in both of our respective cities.
I am particularly looking forward to this experience because this will be the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to sing with the Phoenix Chorale—in Phoenix! PHX is a great town. I can’t wait to spend a little time in the sunshine there later this month. It will be really cool to have Charles combine these two stellar choirs to make one nearly unstoppable “super group”. These are exciting times.
The All-Night Vigil by Sergei Rachmaninoff is an incredibly special piece in the choral repertoire, and I’ll never forget the first time I heard it. Naturally, it was the very famous 1989 Robert Shaw Festival Singers recording, and I was a freshman at St. Olaf College. I was trying to recover from an unrequited crush on a senior organ performance major who was also my ear training TA (I didn’t know any better) and I had checked this disc out of the music library at his recommendation. I must have played it 800 times in a row because it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. Tears of rejection quickly turned into tears of gratitude for those gorgeously healing harmonies…and for those BASSES. I had the subwoofer turned up to 11, I’m sure. I had never heard a more profound choral sound in my life.
And now the time has finally come for me to sing this amazing work—and with some of the finest choral singers in the country under the direction of one very brilliant conductor, the incomparable Charles Bruffy? I am one lucky alto indeed!