Grace Chorale of Brooklyn (formerly known as Grace and Spiritus Chorale of Brooklyn) is a 75-member chorus based in Brooklyn Heights dedicated to the performance and promotion of choral singing in Brooklyn. Our concerts, performing partnerships, and educational outreach events 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 Matthew Henning.
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.
Upcoming in the 2015-2016 Season!
GCB's continuing interest in expanding its musical repertoire and audiences is reflected in our upcoming Season.
In December 2015, our Winter Concert will feature The Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, by J.S. Bach. Bach lovers will enjoy a selection from the six cantatas of The Oratorio, composed in 1734. Although intended for performance in church over the Christmas Season, the music represents a particularly sophisticated expression of the parody technique, by which existing music was adapted to a new purpose. Bach took the majority of the choruses and arias from works which had been written some time earlier. Most of this music was 'secular', that is, written in praise of royalty or notable local figures, outside the tradition of performance within the church.
Friday evening, 12/18 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Carroll Gardens and
Sunday afternoon, 12/20 at All Saint’s Church in Park Slope
(specific times forthcoming)
In April 2016, our Spring Concert will turn the tables (er...pianos), and feature selections from Duke Ellington's "Sacred Concert." In 1965, at the age of 66, Duke Ellington premiered the first of three “Sacred Music” Concerts at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Two more versions of “Sacred Music” premiered in 1968 in New York City, and in 1978 in London. Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, the legendary jazz musician toured the country performing what he called “Sacred Concerts,” and wherever Ellington performed, he would collaborate with local choirs. No definitive score of the “Sacred Music” was published during Ellington’s lifetime; however, in 1993, the Danish choral composer and conductor John Hoybye, working with jazz composer Peder Pedersen, produced a composite version of “Sacred Music” comprised of selected music from the original three. The Hoybye-Pedersen version, published in 1997, elevates the chorus as an equal partner with the band. We will be performing this major work, accompanied by a 17-piece big band, a soloist, and dancers.
...still in the works. Stay tuned.
GCB Past Performances:
On April 23 and 26, Grace Chorale performed "Twentieth Century British Choral Masterpieces." with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra in the Beaux Arts Court at the Brooklyn Museum. Belshazzar's Feast, a rousing cantata by William Walton, filled the Court with one of our finest performances.
On January 23rd, 24th and 25th, GCB performed its 2014-15 Winter Concert, Luminous Night, a program of music for Chorus and String Quartet. Ludwig van Beethoven's "Elegischer Gesang" was followed by works from living composers, including Ola Gjeilo's "Luminous Night of the Soul," Veronika Krausas' "Language of the Birds," and Eric Whitacre's "Five Hebrew Love Songs." The concert also premiered a commissioned piece by Brooklyn-based composer, Vince Peterson, based on excerpts from James Joyce's "Chamber Music".
Have a listen below:
Luminous Night - A Concert for Chorus and String Quartet was made possible with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered in Kings County by the Brooklyn Arts Council.
On the weekend of November 22-23, Grace Chorale of Brooklyn performed Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni in collaboration with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn. The performances were held at St. Ann and The Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights...read the reviews here and here.
Grace Chorale performed Carl Orff's masterpiece Carmina Burana on May 2nd and May 3rd to our largest audiences ever! We were honored with standing ovations on both nights...Have a listen below.