Welcome to the newest section of the HGCF website!
“Alumni News” is just that, a place to post interesting news items about Harvard Glee Club Alumni. Have you recently published an article or a book? Gotten married? Added a child or grandchild to your family? Changed jobs or gotten a promotion? Or, if you’ve recently learned about the death of an HGC alumnus and want to notify your fellow alumni, we’ll post it here for you. Brief news items, photographs, and/or links to a site with the full story are welcome. Send them to: AlumniNews@hgcfoundation.org
Chamber Choir: International Champions
The Portland State Chamber Choir won the Grand Prix at the largest choral festival in Asia. Portland State was the first American choir ever to compete in the Bali International Choral Festival July 14-20, which featured over 100 choirs.
“This trip was a profound experience for Chamber Choir students,” says Ethan Sperry (HGC ’93), the Barre Stoll Director of Choral Activities in the PSU School of Music. “Asian choirs have a distinctive approach to music, and our ears were opened to a new palette of sounds.
“I hope that we offered a similar experience for the people hearing an American choir for the first time.”
The Chamber Choir won two categories: Music of Religions and Gospels & Spirituals. They earned the highest score in the entire festival in Gospels & Spirituals, and were proud that their presentation of this distinctly American art form had such an impact on judges from other countries.
During the 10-day trip, the Chamber Choir toured cultural sites, visited a program to alleviate poverty and sang at a charity concert to raise money for homeless youth. The choir also joined two Indonesian choirs to sing opera chorus at a gala for Catharina Leimena, Indonesia’s first opera star.
“Our goal was to sing our best—and we did,” Sperry says. “We’re grateful to have had the chance to share music with singers from all over the world, and extremely proud to bring the grand prix trophy back to Portland State.”
This is the second international competition that the Chamber Choir has won in recent years. In 2013 they were the first American choir to win the Grand Prix at the Seghizzi International Competition for Choral Singing, held in Italy.
“The Doors of Heaven,” the Chamber Choir’s recording of works by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds, will be released on Friday, August 11, by Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label. The CD is available for pre-order on Amazon.
— Suzanne Gray
Heralding New Music and Nurturing It
Joel Sachs (HGC ’61) Directs the New Juilliard Ensemble and the Focus! Festival
Several of Joel Sachs‘s tour-mates from the FET ’61 sent along information about this article in the January 16, 2015 New York Times. Dr. Loring Conant, Jr. ’61, HGC President during the 1961 Far East Tour, said, “…this is an eloquent example of the maturation of a talented musician whose origins are grounded in the many rich experiences and opportunities as an undergraduate accompanist to the Harvard Glee Club.”
Peter Strauss ’61 (manager 1960-61) sends along the news that his New York City, Upper West Side chamber choir, Florilegium, will be singing evensong at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York, Sunday Feb. 22 at 5, and a concert of Americana at Trinity Lutheran Church, West 100th St. east of Amsterdam Avenue at 4 pm Sunday, March 8. There is room for more bassi (seconds especially) and tenors in the group; find out more and hear us sing, he says, at http://florilegiumchamberchoir.org.