Yale hosts international festival of choirs

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Manado State University Choir

Renowned choirs from four continents will come together on the Yale campus June 19–23 for the first Yale International Choral Festival: five days of singing, learning, and celebrating the transcendent power of choral music to connect and inspire people from all cultures and all walks of life.

Participating ensembles include Central Conservatory of Music Chorus, Beijing; Cambridge University Consort of Voices, UK; Manado State University Choir, Indonesia; the Imilonji Kantu Choral Society, South Africa; and two Yale choral groups: the renowned Yale Alumni Chorus and the newly formed professional ensemble Yale Choral Artists. Each evening will feature a formal concert in Yale’s Sprague Hall, 470 College St., by individual choirs, and each day will be filled with lectures, workshops, and master classes led by visiting conductors, guests, and Yale faculty.

Sponsored by the Yale Glee Club, under the direction of Jeffrey Douma, the Yale School of Music and the Yale Alumni Chorus, the event is part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which will be taking place in New Haven June 16–30.

Integrated into the choral festival is a two-day symposium (June 22–23) sponsored by the two leading professional organizations for choir directors. Titled “Choirs Transforming Our World,” the symposium will explore innovative programs for empowering individuals and building communities through song.

The presenters at symposium panel discussions will include Kate Munger, founder of the Threshold Choir, which performs in prisons, hospitals, and hospices; Allison Fromm, director of  Joyful Noise Choir, a choral group for singers with developmental disabilities; and recent MacArthur grant recipient Francisco Núñez of the Young People’s Chorus of New York, among others. To register for the festival or symposium, and for information on applying to become a Festival Conducting Fellow, visit the festival website.

The schedule of public events includes concert performances by Yale Choral Artists on Tuesday, June 19, 8 p.m.; the Monado State University Choir and Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing) Choir on Wednesday, June 20, 5 and 8 p.m., respectively; the Imilonji Kantu Choral Society (South Africa) and Yale Choral Artists performing with the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Shubert Theater, 247 College St., on Thursday, June 21, 5 and 8 p.m., respectively; Cambridge University Consort of Voices, and a repeat performance at the Shubert of the Mark Morris Dance Group and Yale Choral Artists on Friday, June 22, 8 p.m.  The culminating Choral Festival concert with the Yale Alumni Chorus and New Haven Symphony Orchestra, takes place at Woolsey Hall, 500 College St. at 6 p.m. Only the final concert is a free and un-ticketed event. To order tickets for all other concerts, go to the Choral Festival website of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Unless otherwise indicated, all performances take place at Sprague Hall.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345