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Media Contact:
Jen Rogers, V.P. of Marketing & Communications
480-204-0101 / jen@phoenixchorale.org

Box Office: 602-253-2224

For Immediate Release 

PHOENIX CHORALE HONORS 100TH BIRTHDAY
OF COMPOSER BENJAMIN BRITTEN

“A Chorale Christmas” concerts on December 19-22, 2013
feature Britten’s beloved A Ceremony of Carols

(Phoenix, AZ) – The Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of British composer Benjamin Britten, performing his beloved work A Ceremony of Carols on their annual holiday concerts titled “A Chorale Christmas.” This concert also features music by British composers Herbert Howells, Cecilia McDowall, John Rutter, up-and-coming composer Philip Stopford, and audience sing-alongs at four beautiful, intimate venues across the Valley on December 19-22, 2013.

britten

With a wide range of works, Benjamin Britten is remembered as a central figure of 20th  Century British classical music as a composer, conductor, and pianist. One of his cherished chamber works, A Ceremony of Carols, is a Christmas masterpiece reflecting on the unparalleled beauty and faith of the Virgin Mary with Old English text from The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems. Written in 1942 for three-part treble chorus, solo voices, and harp, this performance will feature the women of the Phoenix Chorale and renowned Kansas City harpist Tabitha Reist Steiner.

ABOUT THE MUSIC

Herbert Howells’ A Spotless Rose is a signature piece performed frequently by the Phoenix Chorale during the holiday season and is featured on the Grammy-winning CD “Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary”. Herbert Howells was born in Lydney, Gloucester in 1892 and showed interest in composition at an early age and eventually studied music at the Royal College of Music. His music shows his harmonic preference for church modes and the pentatonic scale, prominent in much of his sacred works.

Composer Cecilia McDowall’s music has been featured at Phoenix Chorale Christmas concerts for several seasons, and this year the Chorale presents the North American premiere of O Oriens, which is included on a short list of works nominated for the British Composer Awards. Born in London in 1951, Cecilia McDowall is currently composer-in-residence at Dulwich College. Her writing combines a rhythmic vitality with expressive lyricism and has been described by the “International Record Review” as having “a communicative gift that is very rare in modern music.”

Composer John Rutter is beloved around the world, known mostly for his spirited choral compositions. Born in London in 1945, Rutter’s love for holiday repertoire became apparent when as young man he collaborated with Sir David Willcocks on the very successful anthology series “Carols for Choirs.” In 1981, Rutter founded his own choir, the Cambridge Singers. He currently resides at Duxford in Cambridgeshire and frequently conducts choirs and orchestras around the world. Three of his charming carols will be featured in these including Shepherd’s Pipe Carol, Wexford Carol, and Star Carol.

The Phoenix Chorale is introducing some new arrangements of familiar holiday texts with music by up-and-coming English composer and conductor Philip Stopford. Stopford, born in 1977, studied music as an organist at Keble College at Oxford University and was appointed Director of Music at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast in January 2003. He now devotes his time to choral composition and conducting, offering commissions and workshops globally. His music fits the program with reflective, dance-like settings of Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, Sussex Carol, Lully, Lulla, Lullay, A Child is Born in Bethlehem, and Rejoice, Rejoice.

ABOUT HARPIST TABITHA REIST STEINER: Tabitha Reist Steiner began her musical studies in piano and harp at an early age at the Mount St. Scholastica Conservatory of Music in Atchison, Kansas. She is in high demand in the Midwest as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Steiner earned a master of music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor of music degree from Washburn University.  She has studied with world-renowned harpist Alice Chalifoux at the Salzedo Summer Harp Colony in Camden, Maine. Steiner currently performs with the Chamber Music Society of Kansas City, the Tulsa Opera Orchestra, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, and the Wichita Grand Opera Orchestra.

Interviews and press tickets can be arranged by contacting
Jen Rogers at 480-204-0101 or jen@phoenixchorale.org.

HOW TO BUY TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased through the Phoenix Chorale’s website: www.phoenixchorale.org or by calling 602-253-2224. General admission tickets are $31 for adults and $15 for students. Seniors and Military receive $5 off the adult ticket price. All tickets are $5 more when purchased the day of the concert.

25 & Under Rush Tickets – Starting 15 minutes before concert time, anyone 25 years old and younger (with ID) can purchase Rush Tickets for just $5. Rush Tickets are subject to availability, cannot be reserved in advance, and are not guaranteed.

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“A Chorale Christmas”
PHOENIX CHORALE
Charles Bruffy, conductor

December 19, 2011 – Thursday evening at 7:30 pm
Brophy Chapel (4701 N. Central Ave, Phoenix)

December 20, 2011 – Friday evening at 7:30 pm
Brophy Chapel (4701 N. Central Ave, Phoenix)

December 21, 2011 Saturday Afternoon at 2:00 pm
All Saints of the Desert (9502 W. Hutton Dr., Sun City)

December 21, 2011 – Saturday Evening at 7:30 pm
*KBAQ 89.5 FM Talks at Trinity starts at 6:30 pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (100 West Roosevelt St., Phoenix)

December 22, 2011 – Sunday Afternoon at 3:00 pm
Christ Church of the Ascension (4015 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley)

Tickets:
$31 Adults
$15 Students

Seniors & Military receive $5 off General Admission.
All tickets are an additional $5 at the door

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ABOUT THE PHOENIX CHORALE: The Phoenix Chorale is regarded as one of the finest professional choral ensembles in North America. What began in 1958 as a small study group of singers became a fully professional choir in 1992 made up of Arizona residents: highly educated and trained singers, teachers and professionals. In 2004, the Phoenix Chorale became the first North American choir to record for the U.K.’s prestigious Chandos Records and since then, the Chorale’s recordings have earned a total of eight GRAMMY nominations and two GRAMMY wins. The Phoenix Chorale aims to be the preeminent model for American choral music by redefining standards of excellence and its mission is to enrich life through excellence and distinction in choral artistry. All Phoenix Chorale recordings can be found at www.PhoenixChorale.org.