Come Celebrate With Us!
GCB's 40th Anniversary
of Choral Singing
Grace Chorale of Brooklyn is an 85-member chorus based in Brooklyn Heights dedicated to the performance and promotion of choral singing in Brooklyn. In this our 40th anniversary year, our concerts, performing partnerships, and educational outreach events continue to offer a wide variety of choral music to audiences throughout the Borough, and provide amateur singers of varied experience the opportunity to study the art of choral singing under the dynamic and professional leadership of Music Director Jason Asbury and Assistant Music Director Matt Podd.
We are also very proud of our commissioning program: For nearly a decade, Grace Chorale of Brooklyn has commissioned a wide variety of choral works by talented New York City composers as part of our mission to support living composers and expand the choral repertoire of the 21st century. The Chorale values our collaboration with them and the wonderful opportunity to breathe life into the work they compose for us.
"Songs of Spring"
April 28 & 29
This April, the GCB Songs of Spring Concerts will take place Friday April 28th, 7pm at First Unitarian Church on Pierrepont St in Brooklyn Heights and Saturday April 29th 7pm at All Saints Episcopal Church in Park Slope.
We will open with the 16th century and go ‘a-dancing in the grass’ with madrigals, “Now is the Month of Maying” by English composer Thomas Morley, and “In una verde piaggia” by Italian composer Giovanni Matteo Asola (sung by a smaller GCB Chamber Chorus). Following these spirited pieces, will be a celebrated work from the 19th Century by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn. Haydn’s Spring Chorus, "Come lovely Spring” from “The Seasons” (1801) has the hallmark of his exuberant Classical period music.
Moving to the 20th & 21st centuries, GCB will feature significant early and late compositions, opening with our Chamber Chorus performing the last movement of Kirke Mechem's "Five Centuries of Spring." The lovely text is by Edna St. Vincent Millay and questions the intentions of the spring's return. After the GCB Chamber group, the full chorus will sing Ralph Vaughan Williams’ (1897-1951) “The Spring Time of the Year”, a sailor’s love song to his ‘lady fair,’ and Jules Massenet’s (1842-1912) “Chères Fleurs” from Chansons des Bois D’Amaranthe, a poet’s warning to the spring flowers about faithless love. Among this group of composers will be Benjamin Britten with “Ballad of Green Broom” from his Five Flower Songs, a tour-de-force crowned by Britten’s humor and high-spirited altos singing ‘Go fetch me the boy!’
Among the pieces by living composers following Britten, Eric Whitacre’s setting of Garcia Lorca’s poem, “With a Lily in Your Hand”, contrasts the lyrical murmuring of Water with the glittering vibrant sparkle of Fire. “Spring Rain” by the Chinese composer Chen Yi blends and transcends Chinese and Western traditions with singers rhythmically depicting the falling rain while singing the text from an eighth-century Chinese poem, “Happy Rain on a Spring Night"...in Chinese. Also included in this group of contemporary compositions will be Morten Lauridsen’s “Les Chansons des Roses” featuring a five-piece song cycle based on Rainer Maira Rilke’s poetic celebration of the blossoming rose, and James Mulholland's choral setting of Robert Burn's poem "A Red, Red Rose." Both pieces are sweet and sensitive marriages of text and choral writing.
Following these compositions, GCB will offer a playful performance of The Swingle Singers' "It was a Lover and his Lass." Ward Swingle set these delightful verses from William Shakespeare’s "As You Like It" (Act V, sc. 3) in his own jazzy style. The concert will then conclude with the premiere of a GCB commissioned choral work by our own jazzstylist and Assistant Music Director, Matt Podd.
GCB Past Performances:
O Magnum Mysterium
On Friday, December 9th and Sunday, December 11th, Grace Chorale of Brooklyn performed its annual Holiday Concert at Grace Episcopal Church in Brooklyn Hts. accompanied by an eight-piece brass ensemble and organ.
The music opened with an instrumental piece
Canzona per sonare No.2 by Giovanni Gabrieli
followed by the chorale singing:
Hope For Resolution ( A Song for Mandela and deKlerk)
arranged by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory
by Daniel Pinkham
O Magnum Mysterium
by Morten Lauridsen
Gloria by John Rutter
Joy (from The Preacher's Wife)
arranged by David Maddux
Brooklyn Priemiere of
Duke Ellington's 'Sacred Concert'
On April 29, 30, and May 1, 2016 our Spring Concert featured Duke Ellington's 'Sacred Concert', a rarely performed but highly regarded set of improvisational music. Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, the legendary jazz musician toured the country with his swing band, collaborating with local choirs in performances of what he called “Sacred Concerts” or “Sacred Music.” GCB was accompanied in performance by the Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus (Aaron Williams, Conductor), a 16-piece jazz band (Matt Podd, Band Leader), jazz singer Tulivu, dancers from Jamal Jackson’s nationally recognized dance company, JJDC, and up-and-coming tap dancer Dario Natarelli. For more details on our collaborators, click here.
If you missed the Ellington Concert, you can
watch the 5/29 performance here
or listen to a few music clips below...
...and the rousing finale:
The Christmas Oratorio
On December 18th and 20th, our Winter Concert featured The Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, by J.S. Bach. We were supported by members of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and four exceptional soloists:
Marie Masters, soprano, Rachel Arky, mezz-soprano,
Michael Kuhn, tenor, Peter Clark, baritone