Choral Scholars Residency At Santa Monica College
Santa Monica, CA
Santa monica college Presents
Chorosynthesis Singers in Residency
December 3-9, 2018
Performances by professional choir in collaboration with SMC Choirs
include a World AIDS Day Tribute and a concert replete with social consciousness.
SANTA MONICA, CA — The Santa Monica College Music Department hosts professional choir Chorosynthesis Singers for a week-long Choral Scholars Residency culminating in two performances of the same concert program, featuring the world premiere of Seven Living Words of the HIV+ by Thomas Schuttenhelm, a work written to celebrate World AIDS Day 2018, and a collage of traditional classical choral music interspersed with contemporary music that addresses social issues of our times, including poverty, immigration, colonialism, LGBTQIA and human rights, family separations at the border, suicide, and religious persecution.
Chorosynthesis Singers has twice been awarded 2nd place in The American Prize professional choir category and was recently given a special judges’ citation for “Extraordinary Commitment to New Music.” Their conductors are also winners in the professional choral conducting division of The American Prize. Many members of the ensemble have been featured on Grammy-nominated CDs, and the ensemble will soon release a 2-CD set called Empowering Silenced Voices, selections of which they will perform at SMC as a part of the Choral Scholars Residency.
Other activities included in the residency, December 3-9, include a panel discussion on entrepreneurship in the arts, a collaborative voice recital headlined by guest baritone Stephen Lancaster from the University of Notre Dame, a voice masterclass by Lancaster, and two performances by guest professional choir Chorosynthesis Singers, co-directed by Jeremiah Selvey and Wendy Moy from Connecticut College, as well as by singers of the SMC Concert Chorale and SMC Chamber Choir, directed by Professor Jeremiah Selvey.
All events are held in performance spaces at the SMC Performing Arts Center,
located at 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard), Santa Monica.
Tickets are available at smc.edu/music-concerts.
Residency Events DETAILS
(Not in chronological order)
Performed by Chorosynthesis Singers, SMC Concert Chorale, SMC Chamber Choir,
Pre-Concert Talks by Composer, HIV/AIDS Advocates, and Conductors, 6:30-7:15 PM.
Every day is newly full of human rights hanging in the balance, with national and world leaders challenging multiculturalism and standing in the way of the advancement of equality for each and every part of humanity. The music being performed as the culminating experience of this residency uses the art of singing to bring to life perspectives that empower all of us to to stand up for the human dignity of all people, regardless of identity.
The first half of the concert is a tribute to World AIDS Day 2018, featuring the world premiere of Seven Living Words of the HIV+ composed by Thomas Schuttenhelm from Philadelphia, who will be present for the performance. This ground-breaking classical choral composition gives voice to the modern perspective of a gay man living with HIV. The work will be performed by Chorosynthesis Singers, select SMC students and faculty, and guest baritone soloist Stephen Lancaster. The powerful premiere of this piece will illuminate the emotional spectrum of a gay man’s experience of HIV, from dealing with the stigma of one’s family, friends, and partner to the “inconvenience” of the daily routine to maintain compliance in taking the medications; and from the shock and numbness of the diagnosis to the elation of achieving an undetectable status and ultimately, reclaiming one’s life in the face of such a potentially ravaging disease.
The second half of the concert is a collage of collaborative performances by the SMC Concert Chorale, SMC Chamber Choir, Chorosynthesis Singers, and guest baritone Stephen Lancaster, featuring the Contemporary Mass for Volatile Times directed by Jeremiah Selvey and Wendy Moy. The mass explores the volatile context in which composers have always written contemporary socially conscious music. During the English Reformation, when Latin was a banished language, Catholic composer William Byrd surreptitiously wrote his Mass for Four Voices. The choirs present Byrd’s Mass from the “classical” choral canon and interweave among the mass’s movements contemporary music on socially conscious topics, including including poverty, immigration, colonialism, LGBTQIA and human rights, family separations at the border, suicide, and religious persecution.
Lest you think SMC Concert Chorale’s holiday tradition is going away, audience members will also be able to enjoy singing along to some carols and a Beatles tune.
voice recital WIth baritone stephen lancaster
& collaborative pianist rachel schrag,
the choral scholars,
advanced smc students
Wed, December 5 | 7:30 p.m. | $10
Dr. Stephen Lancaster, director of the graduate voice program at the University of Notre Dame, will perform Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe and will be joined by Chorosynthesis Singers and advanced students of the SMC vocal program performing classical, musical theater, and contemporary commercial songs.
Described as “a fine storyteller” (American Record Guide), “varied in tone and alive to feeling” (Fanfare Magazine), baritone Stephen Lancaster engages audiences through diverse repertoire in concert, recital, and opera. Winner of the Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition and The American Prize for men in art song and oratorio, he has been featured in venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Centro Cultural de Belém, Petit Palau de la Música Catalana, and Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall.
Recent chamber performances include recitals for Gstaad New Year Music Festival, Musique dans le Grésivaudan, and Festival de Musique d’Uzerche and Le bal masqué with the South Bend Symphony Chamber Orchestra. A passionate recitalist, Lancaster has performed programs in New York, Paris, and Berlin and for the Eure-et-Loire Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, and Brooklyn Art Song Society. He has recorded an album of French art songs with pianist Martin Katz, Le Menu des Mélodies (Centaur Records), and his recital on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series was broadcast live by WFMT Chicago.
Born and raised in Canada, Lancaster earned certificates in piano and voice from The Royal Conservatory of Music before moving to the United States. Winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards (central region), he holds degrees from the University of Michigan (A.Mus.D.) and the University of Notre Dame (M.M.), where he currently serves as Associate Professor of the Practice and heads the graduate studio in voice. Lancaster performs sacred music regularly in concert with his husband, organist Kevin Vaughn; their album, Sacred Song, for voice and organ was recently released on the Albany Records label. He also serves as Parish Organist and Choir Director at St. David of Wales Episcopal Church in Elkhart, Indiana.
with dr. stephen lancaster, baritone
Thur, December 6 | 12:45 p.m. | Free & Open to the Public
The Edye Second Performing Space at SMC Performing Arts Center
Advanced SMC Voice Students will perform and receive in-the-moment coaching from Dr. Stephen Lancaster, the guest soloist for the Choral Scholars Residency and for the lead role of the Seven Living Words of the HIV+, to be premiered on December 8 at Santa Monica College.
PANEL DISCUSSION on
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE ARTS
Tues, December 4 | 11:15 p.m. | Free & Open to the Public
The Edye Second Performing Space at SMC Performing Arts Center
Composer Thomas Schuttenhelm, members of Chorosynthesis Singers, and Conductors Wendy Moy and Jeremiah Selvey will talk about their entrepreneurial experiences of making a living outside of performing as a means toward supporting their performing careers.