The Collegiate Chorale presents the New York Premiere of battle hymns by David Lang; James Bagwell, Conductor, Ted Sperling, Director, Edward Barnes, Producer on May 15, 2014 at 7:30pm at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

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May 9, 2014


Michelle Tabnick, (646) 765-4773, [email protected]



the New York Premiere of

battle hymns

by David Lang


James Bagwell, Conductor

Ted Sperling, Director

Edward Barnes, Producer


May 15, 2014 at 7:30pm at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum


The Collegiate Chorale announces the New York premiere of battle hymns on May 15, 2014 at 7:30pm at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, 12th Ave. & 46th Street in New York, NY. Regular General Admission tickets are $60 and Premium General Admission tickets are $125.  Tickets are available by phone at 646-202-9623 or online at


battle hymns

one drum, 200 voices…


A soldier’s letter to his wife, a speech by Abraham Lincoln, lyrics to Stephen Foster songs – these are the words of battle hymns, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang’s innovative choral exploration of the feelings of people in times of war. On May 15, 2014, The Collegiate Chorale will present the New York Premiere of this unusual and haunting work, performed within the expansive Hangar Deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a setting rich in the remembrance of wars served.


Written for large choral forces and one solo drum, battle hymns is ideally realized by the top-flight Collegiate Chorale, joined by members of the Veteran Artist Program andthe Manhattan Girls Chorus.  The combined 200 voices will sing out in unison, counterpoint, and multi-layered polyphony, to create a unique site-specific experience inside the walls of this hallowed aircraft carrier. Modern music merges with military memory – a one-of-a-kind encounter. 


Passionate, prolific, and complicated, composer David Lang embodies the restless spirit of invention. Lang is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms. Musical America’s 2013 Composer of the Year and recipient of Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair for 2013-2014, Lang is one of America’s most performed composers. Many of his works resemble each other only in the fierce intelligence and clarity of vision that inform their structures. His catalogue is extensive, and his opera, orchestra, chamber and solo works are by turns ominous, ethereal, urgent, hypnotic, unsettling and very emotionally direct. Much of his work seeks to expand the definition of virtuosity in music – even the deceptively simple pieces can be fiendishly difficult to play and require incredible concentration by musicians and audiences alike.


The mission of The Collegiate Chorale is to enrich its audiences through innovative programming and exceptional performances of a broad range of vocal music featuring a premier choral ensemble.  Founded in 1941 by the legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as for commissions and premieres of new works by today’s most exciting creative artists.  The many guest artists with whom The Chorale has performed in recent years include:  Stephanie Blythe, Victoria Clark, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, Angela Meade, Kelli O’Hara, Eric Owens, Rene Papé, Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt.  Last season’s highlights included the critically acclaimed concert presentation of Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, NY premieres of works by Philip Glass and Osvaldo Golijov, and a performance of Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero with the NY Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert.  In addition to The Chorale’s presentations, the chorus performed in three programs during the American Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-13 season, and returned for a sixth time to sing at the Verbier (Switzerland) Festival in the summer of 2013.


For more information about this concert and The Collegiate Chorale, visit


James Bagwell was appointed Music Director of The Collegiate Chorale in 2009.  In addition to conducting Chorale concerts at Carnegie Hall and throughout the city, he has also prepared The Collegiate Chorale for performances with the NY Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and at the Salzburg Festival and throughout Israel with the Israel Philharmonic.  He also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York.  Since 2000, he has taught at Bard College, where he is Professor of Music and Chair of the Undergraduate Music Department, as well as Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Conducting, and has served as Director of Choruses for the Bard Music Festival since 2003.  He is also chorus master for The Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.  He has trained choruses for a number of major American and international orchestras and worked with such noted conductors as Charles Dutoit, Manfred Honeck, Gianandrea Noseda, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Louis Langrée, Leon Botstein, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Raymond Leppard, James Conlon, Jesús López-Cobos, Erich Kunzel, Leon Fleischer, and Robert Shaw.


One of today’s leading musical artists, Ted Sperling is a director, music director, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, singer, pianist and violinist.  Mr. Sperling’s projects with The Chorale have included concert performances of The Firebrand of Florence (Conductor, 2009), The Grapes of Wrath (Conductor, 2010), Knickerbocker Holiday (Director, 2011),  and The Mikado (Conductor/Director, 2012).  He won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning revival of South PacificGuys and DollsDirty Rotten ScoundrelsThe Full MontyHow to Succeed in Business Without Really TryingKiss of the Spider WomanAngels in America FalsettosThe Mystery of Edwin DroodLes Misérables, and Sunday in the Park with GeorgeMr. Sperling was named Artistic Director of The Collegiate Chorale earlier this season.


Edward Barnes first started collaborating on projects for The Collegiate Chorale in 2003, and since then has produced some of the organizations most successful concerts, including Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado at Carnegie Hall, Kurt Weill’s Knickerbocker Holiday at Lincoln Center (concert and live cast recording for Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records), and Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie’s opera, The Grapes of Wrath, also at Carnegie.  A composer-lyricist and graduate of the Juilliard School, Edward is the recipient of many awards and honors including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Stephen Sondheim Award. His producing credits include Tracy Letts’ play, Superior Donuts, on Broadway, You Are Here for NyLon Fusion Collective off-Broadway, A Christmas Carol for SiriusXM Radio, and productions at the Teatro Maipu and Paseo La Plaza theaters in Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Founded in 2009, VAP focuses on propelling veterans into the mainstream creative arts community through networking, mentorship, collaborations and original productions. VAP fosters and promotes veterans in the arts by encouraging them to pursue their passion in an intentional way.   Since 2009, VAP has worked with veterans and organizations in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Chicago, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and New York. VAP has produced five music/theatrical live events, filmed two documentaries, one feature film, curated gallery exhibits, provided videography/photography services, and helped organize more than 30 community improvement projects, including painting two murals in Baltimore. For more information visit:



The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a non-profit, educational institution featuring the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world’s fastest jets and a guided missile submarine. Through exhibitions, educational programming and the foremost collection of technologically groundbreaking aircraft and vessels, visitors of all ages are taken on an interactive journey through history to learn about American innovation and bravery.


The Intrepid Museum fulfills its mission to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire our youth by connecting them to history through hands-on exploration while bridging the future by inspiring innovation.


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