For Immediate Release: November 30, 2011
Contact: Jen Rogers, 480-204-0101
Box Office: 602-253-2224
GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING PHOENIX CHORALE
RELEASES FIRST CHRISTMAS CD SINCE 1997
Live recording features compilation from last five years of holiday concerts and is the first release on new label PhoCho Records
(November 30, 2011) – The Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale releases its first-ever LIVE recording, a compilation of Christmas music over the last five years of holiday concerts performed in venues across the Phoenix metro-area between 2005 and 2010. Titled “Of A Rose,” the new recording features an array of songs celebrating the holiday season under the direction of Artistic Director Charles Bruffy. The last Christmas recording by the Phoenix Chorale was “A Southwest Christmas” released in 1997.
“Every year we are asked when we’re going to release a new recording of Christmas music. We were well over due and finally here it is! This new recording has many of our favorite holiday songs on it including Lo How a Rose and some beautiful pieces by Cecilia McDowall,” said Charles Bruffy. “It’s a kind of panoply of Christmas music from the last five years. It’s a festive eclectic recording – and it’s just what you’d expect from a Phoenix Chorale concert.”
Several selections from “Of A Rose” will be performed at the Phoenix Chorale’s upcoming Christmas concerts titled “A Chorale Christmas” on December 17-20 around the Valley including Lo, How a Rose, Joys Seven, How Far is it to Bethlehem, Hacia Bélen va un borrico, and Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day.
“We’ve always recorded our concerts for archival purposes and have built up a very nice collection of live recordings,” said Executive Director Joel Rinsema. “While we intend to continue to commercially release recordings on Chandos Records for international distribution, we knew the quality of these performances would lend itself to being self released. We started our own record label for these wonderful live recordings through PhoCho Records, and we’ll have the new CDs available just in time for Christmas.”
“Of A Rose” will be available for purchase starting Thursday, December 8 and can be ordered online at www.phoenixchorale.org, by calling 602-253-2224 or at “A Chorale Christmas” concerts on December 17-20 at various locations around the Valley. (Downloads for “Of A Rose” will be made available some time in 2012.)
“Of A Rose” tracks include Welcome Yule! by Douglas E. Wagner, Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day arranged by David Willcocks, Lo, How a Rose arranged by Daniel Gawthrop, Joys Seven arranged by James Ludwig, Hacia Bélen va un borrico arranged by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker, Estampie Natalis by Vaclav Nelhybel, Anniversary Carols arranged by Jackson Berkey, How Far is it to Bethlehem? arranged by James McCullough, and three selections by Cecilia McDowall including Cantate, astra, Now May We Singen, and the title track, Of A Rose.
All tracks for Of a Rose were recorded live in concert by Ben Taylor of Omni Classic Recording in venues around the Great Phoenix area. Of a Rose was edited by Blanton Alspaugh and mastered by Mark Donahue of Soundmirror Inc. in Boston, MA.
About the Phoenix Chorale: The Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale is regarded as one of the finest professional choral ensembles in America. The Chorale has developed that reputation through live performances across the U.S. and in Canada, along with a series of recordings treasured by music lovers and played by radio stations around the globe.
The Phoenix Chorale was the first North American choir to release an album on Chandos Records – one of the largest independents classical record labels in the world – in a continuing partnership that began with the 2004 album Shakespeare in Song. The Chorale’s Spotless Rose was released on Chandos in 2008 and received two Grammy Award nominations, including “Best Classical Album,” and won a Grammy for “Best Small Ensemble Performance.” Also in 2008, Rheinberger: Sacred Choral Works, the Phoenix Chorale’s third joint-recording with the Kansas City Chorale, received Grammy nominations for “Best Choral Performance” and “Best Surround Sound.” The newest addition to this collection, Northern Lights, features music composed by Ola Gjeilo, the Chorale’s 2009-10 composer-in-residence, and will be released in early 2012.
The first joint-recording for the two chorales, Eternal Rest, was released in 2005. The second, Grechaninov: Passion Week, came out in 2007 and received four Grammy nominations, including “Best Classical Album,” “Best Choral Performance,” and “Best Surround Sound Album,” and won a Grammy Award for “Best Engineered Album, Classical.”
In its 53-year history, the Phoenix Chorale’s conductors have included Millicent Wesley (the Chorale’s first conductor from 1958), Wallace Hornibrook, Dan Durand, Vance George, Anders Öhrwall, Jon Washburn, and Charles Bruffy. The Phoenix Chorale, ensemble-in-residence at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Phoenix, is sponsored in part through grants and funding from Music at Trinity, Sundome Performing Arts Association, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Quail Distributing. More information is available at www.phoenixchorale.org
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