COMMUNITIES IN HARMONY
Community choruses changing the world one community at a time.
Founded by GCB Music Director Jason Asbury, Communities in Harmony supports diverse choral groups across the United States. In Jason's words:
"Community arts organizations create spaces for musicians, visual artists, and dancers ages 5-105 to come together, work together, create together, and engage in a collaborative process that builds relationships across race, culture, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status and political affiliation. Strong community arts programs create strong communities.
As someone who has dedicated much of my life to the art of choral singing, I have witnessed the impact of its formidable power on various communities. The purpose of Communities in Harmony is to highlight community choruses around the country that bring people together to achieve something bigger than any individual can achieve and to create awareness about how choral music is changing the world. In 2017, I will feature one choir from each of the 50 states."
On January 21st, 2017, GCB members joined the The Women’s March on NYC. The march sponsored by the The Women’s March on Washington NYC Chapter – a pure grassroots effort made up of self-motivated volunteers who are dedicated to keeping progress alive – and The National Institute of Reproductive Health (NIRH).
The message: to safeguard the most marginalized communities by sending a strong message to the new administration the day after Inauguration.
On June 10th, GCB will return a favor by hosting the Congressional Chorus of Washington DC in a joint concert at St. Ann's in Brooklyn Hts.
Last year, GCB traveled to Washington and performed with the CC in their spectacular venue at the Calvary Baptist Church. This year, the Congressional Chorus will sing "Calling all Dawns" which they are premiering this spring. This 12-movement work by Grammy award-winning composer Christopher Tin is inspired by a variety of sources, both sacred and secular: Japanese haiku, Maori proverbs, Torah, Bhagavad Gita, and many more.
After their piece, GCB will join them in singing a few selected pieces including a redux of Duke Ellington's 'Sacred Concert' from our sold-out Spring 2016 performance.
Tickets will go on sale in early May.
The 2017 Winter-Spring Semester Auditions are now closed.
The next auditions will be held in September 2017 prior to the Fall/Winter Season
Grace Chorale of Brooklyn adds new voices to the chorus each year. Our informal auditions take place in Septembers and Januarys prior to the concert seasons. We welcome singers with a passion for choral harmony. Nominal sight reading always helps, but good pitch and a good ear are the most important! We are always looking particularly for bass, baritone, and tenor voices, but sopranos and altos are welcome as well. No special preparation is required.
This Semester we will be singing rarely performed selections from Duke Ellington's "Sacred Concerts'' (see more on the Home page).
We take our singing seriously, but do so in a relaxed, collegial, and playful atmosphere. Join us.
The Third Annual Brooklyn Summer Sing-In of 2016 was a rousing success. Record numbers of singers turned on Wednesday, June 15th. A big, heart-warming gathering, from 7 choirs, their conductors, their friends, family and neighbors, came together to make music and then party afterwards!
What glorious voices!
Thanks to Jason Asbury (Our Leader! Grace Chorale of Brooklyn), Aaron Williams (Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus), Nelly Vuksic (Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale), Douglas March (Brooklyn Philharmonia), Jim DiBenedetto, and Steve Coburn (Brooklyn Community Chorus). Other Conductors (whose pix we need!): Jessica Corbin (Bella Voce Singers), Dusty Francis (Park Slope Singers), and Rachel Brook (Brooklyn Jewish Community Chorus).
For more pics of the event, visit out FaceBook Page (Grace Chorale of Brooklyn) and "like" us.
Over the weekend of June 3rd, forty members of the chorale traveled to Washington DC to join the Congressional Chorus in a performance of music titled 'Young Hip and Global, Music of America's Millennial Composers'. GCB was thrilled to sing The Quinciñera, an original composition by our own millennial composer and Assistant Music Director, Matthew Henning.
A few shots from the weekend:
Need we say more?...
Joining the Grace Chorale of Brooklyn are the following fine performers and musicians:
Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus
Artistic Director and Conductor
BCC is a neighborhood based group of singers who have been performing in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene neighborhoods for over thirty-five years. We employ professional vocal and instrumental soloists for our performances. Our music ranges from works in the great choral tradition, to Gilbert and Sullivan, to settings of hymns and spirituals, to contemporary music.
Originally from Miami, Florida, Aaron Williams holds a B.S. in Music Education in Choral Music from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and a Masters in Music Education from Queens College. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he was a music teacher at Portage North Junior High School, Director of the choir at Portage Congregational Church in Portage, Michigan, and Artistic Director of the Kalamazoo Male Chorus in Kalamazoo, Michigan. While teaching in Michigan, he also conducted musical theater productions and major choral works. He moved to New York City in 1980 and began a career as a free-lance singer in the Greater New York area. He has worked as a singer, accompanist, conductor and composer/arranger. He is presently accompanist for the Lafayette Avenue Inspirational Ensemble and Artistic Director of The Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus. Mr. Williams' work with The Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus has included Mendelssohn's Elijah, Schubert's Mass in G, Rossini'sStabat Mater, Faure's Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, Coronation Mass and Regina Coeli, Handel's Messiah, Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and Trial By Jury, and many other traditional and contemporary works.
Band Leader (16-Piece Jazz band)
Matt Podd is a pianist, composer, arranger, music director, and band leader based in Brooklyn, NY. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Ithaca College. As a pianist Matt specializes in jazz, gospel, pop, musical theatre, and choral accompaniment. He has appeared on stage with some of New York City's finest musicians at Town Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Symphony Space, the 92nd Street Y, Rockwood Music Hall, and Shapeshifter Lab.
He has also worked behind the scenes as an arranger and orchestrator for such world-class acts as the Boston Pops, The New York Pops Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, Darlene Love, Steven Van Zandt, Reneé Fleming, Kurt Elling, the Young People's Chorus of NYC, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Time for Three, to name a few.
His arrangements have been heard across America and throughout the world including performances at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, P.B.S. the White House, Caramoor Music Festival, the 92nd Street Y, Symphony Space, and beyond.
Jamal Jackson Dance Company
The mission of Jamal Jackson Dance Company (JJDC) is to translate the creative vision of Artistic Director Jamal Jackson into choreography and educational tools for use in performances, workshops and community outreach that will teach people about the connection between African and American cultures.
Jamal Jackson Dance Company (JJDC) was founded in 2004 with the purpose of fusing various traditional African dance styles with Modern and Hip Hop techniques and diverse contemporary music styles in order to create a new, unique technique that is relevant to a multifarious community of Americans. The movement and storylines of JJDC choreography focus on redefining ideas of community and blurring divisive lines, while still celebrating the beauty of individual cultures. Jackson has a strong desire to not only entertain and educate an audience, but to pass on dance to people of all ages, which he does through regular dance workshops throughout the year. In keeping with the strong mission, the company has worked on youth outreach programs with Berean Baptist Church youth drum line, Performance Spaces for the 21st Century, and Leadership Prep Ocean Hill. The dancers of JJDC have donated their time to working with the students and choreographers to impart dance training, as well as discipline, professionalism, work ethic and self-confidence.
Jackson Dance Company has established a strong presence in and out of New York City, performing year round in festivals, self-produced shows, community outreach programs and private events. The company’s work has been presented at venues including: Mark Morris Dance Center, Jacob’s Pillow, NYC Summerstage Concert Series, DanceNow Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, Battery Downtown Dance Festival, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Brown University, The Brooklyn Museum, Equality Now’s 20th Anniversary, Big Range Festival in Austin, TX, The Yard in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, and Performance Spaces for the 21st Century in Chatham, NY.
Ms. Cumberbatch is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She is the daughter of the great baritone saxophonist, Harold Cumberbatch. He named her Donna Lynn after Miles Davis' composition, "Donna Lee", made famous by Charlie Parker. The stage was set for her musical voyage. Tulivu is a name taken from Tanzania which translates to peaceful, tranquil and serene.
Ms. Cumberbatch studied music formally at Manhattan Community College and Herbert H. Lehman College. Informally she listened and learned first and foremost from her mother as well as from her mentors, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and other masters.
She has worked extensively with trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe (formally Hannibal Peterson) as the featured vocalist. She has performed two of his symphonies, "Children of the Fire" and "Flames of South Africa". She has also performed his suite, "Fannie Lou Hamer" with the Kronos Quartet and his ensemble piece , "Love Poems to God" with dancer/choreographer, Dianne McIntyre. Other artists with whom Ms. Cumberbatch has worked with are: John Hicks, The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Donald Smith, Onaje-Allan Gumbs, Anthony Wonsey, Diedre Murray, Winard Harper, Stanley Banks, Curtis Lundy, Lonnie Plaxico, Steve Wilson, Andy Bey and Romero Lubambo to name a few. She currently works with her own Magnificent Trio as well as freelance with the Ray Abrams Big Band, The Baritone Saxophones, The Harlem Renaissance Orchestra and other artists. Ms. Cumberbatch has toured extensively in such places as the Caribbean, Europe, Russia Canada, Japan and the United States of America, and has won numerous awards for her outstanding performances in the entertainment field. The awards were given to her by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, the Brooklyn Borough President's Office, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office the Fresh Fruit Festival and the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium.
Once again, Eric Adams, the Borough President of Brooklyn, visited GCB on June 3rd at the annual Patron's Party hosted by the chorale to honor their generous donors and supporters. The cocktail evening took place at the home of chorus member Didi Rick and her husband Barry Sheck and, in addition to a lively crowd of chorale boosters, included the GCB Board of Directors and Musical Director Jason Asbury and Assistant Director Matthew Henning.
Welcomed by chorale President Eliza Hicks, the Borough President gave a rousing call in support of music in Brooklyn, and expressed his fervent belief that arts organizations like GCB help to affirm Brooklyn's identity as an artistic mecca within the greater city of New York.
Jason Asbury spoke eloquently of the chorale's programs and ambitions for the upcoming year. All in all, the evening was filled with good spirit, good food, good banter and good support for the chorale. Thanks again to everyone who makes our singing possible.
Having Fun Tuning Up Before Friday's Performance!
Enjoy a warm remembrance of this Holiday Season's GCB concert with your morning coffee...available for purchase ($13) at all performances.
A finely honed set of GCB members got the Holiday Season going in Brooklyn Hts. on Saturday, 11/28...all of us are honing our singing chops for the big concert coming up on 12/18 and 12/20...bought your tickets yet?
The caroling event is sponsored by The Montague Street Business Improvement District
Each December, on either the first or second Sunday, GCB sings a preview of its Winter Concert at Evensong in support of All Saints' Church work with CHiPS...Since 1971, CHiPS (Park Slope Christian Help, Inc.) has been a community of Brooklyn neighbors, volunteers, and friends who share a common spiritual vision to help those who are less fortunate. They prepare hot, nutritious meals and serve them to the needy.
Join us for Evensong at 5pm and Community Meal at 6pm...
All Saints' Church
286-88 7th Avenue
at the corner of 7th Street
On the evenings of March 5th and March 12th, GCB joined the cast of THE EVENTS at the New York Theater Workshop on East 4th Street in Manhattan. The hit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it garnered five-star reviews, along with a Fringe First and the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, the Actors Touring Company production of THE EVENTS has gone on to international acclaim and came to New York for a strictly limited engagement in February and March 2015.
The Chorale sang THE EVENTS' lovely music (Bonkers, How Great Thou Art, Soul, Norwegian Coffee Song, Gabrielo Princep, and We Are All Here ) that underscored Award-winning Scottish playwright David Greig’s play about a community’s search for compassion, peace and understanding in the wake of unthinkable violence. The Chorale also sang a selection (This Heart) from our recently commissioned work, Three Joyce Poems, by Vince Peterson, which debuted at our January Concert.
A few of us showed off our Thespian skills in impromptu roles during the play.
...you know who you are.
Grace Chorale of Brooklyn has been selected to be a part of WNYC/WQXR Radio’s Salute the ARtS Initiative (STAR).
WNYC's Salute The ARts Initiative is a free program that profiles 36 small cultural non-profit organizations in the New York Metropolitan area over a 12-month period, through on-air promotional announcements and free website support.
“We hope that the on-air and website exposure through this program will help to increase awareness of your organization.”
Vincent Peterson (center) directing rehearsals with Music Director, Jason Asbury (right) and Accompanist and Assistant Director, Matthew Henning (left).