Jacksonville Symphony Chorus Travels to New York to Perform at Lincoln Center; A 30th Season Milestone for the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus

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Jacksonville Symphony Chorus Travels to New York to Perform at Lincoln Center

A 30th Season Milestone for the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus

(Jacksonville, Fla. – October 29, 2014) A group of 70 singers from the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus will travel to New York to form the core of a combined chorus under Donald McCullough’s direction in the Lincoln Center premiere of his cantata, In the Shadow of the Holocaust. Presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), the concert will be performed before a sold-out audience at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on Sunday, November 9 at 8 pm.

The special program is dedicated to the remembrance of the Holocaust. A portion of all ticket sales will go directly to the Holocaust Resource Center of Temple Judea, Manhasset, New York. Taking place over Veteran’s Day weekend, November 9 also marks the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht – “The Night of Broken Glass” – the infamous night in 1938 when Jewish institutions and business throughout Nazi Germany and Austria were destroyed, and shards of broken glass littered the streets.

Upon return, the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus will begin its 30th season with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra to perform Mozart’s Requiem. The concert on the Florida Blue Masterworks series, conducted by Michael Butterman, takes place on November 14 and 15, in Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets and information are available at JaxSymphony.org or by calling 904.354.5547.

In the Shadow of the Holocaust by American composer Donald McCullough began as a work for small ensemble called Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps. Drawing from music and stories housed at the Aleksander Kulisiewicz archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – the largest extant collection of music composed in the Nazi camps – the composer gives a voice to prisoners in concentration camps through a cycle of songs and spoken prose. Since 1998 the work has been heard over 300 times worldwide, including performances in Krakow, Dresden, Berlin, and at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp Memorial. The DCINY concert will mark the New York premiere of the symphonic version, which was written in 2004, and orchestrated by James Kessler. Joining the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Singers International and Mr. McCullough as conductor are soloists Sara Jean Ford (soprano), Rachel Arky (mezzo-soprano), and Peter Kendall Clark (baritone).

The concert also features the American premiere of I Believe by Zane Zalis, a large-scale oratorio for choir, children’s choir, orchestra, and narrator, and acclaimed Broadway singers Sara Jean Ford, Alex Gemignani and Drew Gehling with conductor Jonathan Griffith.

A total of 284 singers are participating in the concert, including 132 for In the Shadow of the Holocaust and 152 for I Believe. In addition to the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus, participating choirs include the Cheshire (Conn.) High School Select Choir; D.C. Festival Chorus; Marion (Fla.) Civic Chorale; Murau International Music Festival Singers (Austria); Project Z (Canada); Reston (Va.) Chorale; Schola Cantorum (Calif.); Solitude-Chor Stuttgart E.V., (Germany); and the Winnipeg Youth Chorus (Canada).

This year marks 30th season of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus. Since 2012, the Chorus has been led by esteemed choral director and composer Donald McCullough. Founded in 1985 by past music director Roger Nierenberg, the all-volunteer Jacksonville Symphony Chorus has sung for many landmark Symphony events. Performance highlights include Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony for the tenth anniversary of Jacoby Symphony Hall and Orff’s “Carmina Burana” for the Jacksonville Symphony’s first-ever commercial recording. The Chorus has also sung in each of the Jacksonville Symphony’s annual grand opera productions.

With some of the First Coast area’s finest voices, Jacksonville Symphony Chorus members come from all walks of life who share the spirit of singing great choral music. With a three-decade tradition of making great music with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the roster also includes many professional musicians, skilled amateur performers and students.

About the Presenter – (Distinguished Concerts International New York – DCINY): Founded by Iris Derke (General Director) and Jonathan Griffith (Artistic Director and Principal Conductor) Distinguished Concerts International is driven by passion, innovative vision, a total belief in its artists, and unwavering commitment to bringing forth unforgettable audience experiences.

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