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Singing from the First Tier, Box Tier and Stage, the Choral Arts Chorus gives voice to multi-choral masterpieces from Gabrieli, Tavener, Britten, Tallis and Frank Martin’s stunning Mass For Double Choir


The Choral Arts Society of Washington opens its 45th Anniversary Season on November 15 at 4:00pm in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with one of the most innovative choral concerts of the year: The Original Surround Sound, Antiphonal Glories through the Ages. Singing from the First Tier, Box Tier and Stage the 180-voice Choral Arts Chorus will be divided into various numbers and configurations of choirs, literally encircling the audience in the sound of multi-choral masterpieces from Gabrieli, Frank Martin, Tallis, Biebl, Britten, and Tavener. Playing with the choir and between choral pieces will be members of Phil Snedecor’s Washington Symphonic Brass and organist William Neil. Tickets range from $15 -$65 and are available online at www.choralarts.org or by calling Choral Arts at 202.244.3669 or the Kennedy Center Instant Charge at 202.467.4600.


Founder and Artistic Director, Norman Scribner, who will also be conducting this concert, jumped at the challenge of producing a significant concert of antiphonal music and succeeded in creating a program that includes virtually every variety of antiphonal music. From Gabrieli, the greatest antiphonal genius of all, to Benjamin Britten and other 20th century masters, this program explores the 400 year progression of this classic art form. Born out of a need for creative economic programming, this concert presents Choral Arts with a “chance to explore a whole body of repertoire which is enormously significant, that we would not normally do [in one concert],” explains Maestro Scribner.


As part of this program, Choral Arts is excited to bring 20th century Swiss composer Frank Martin’s stunning Mass for Double Choir to the Kennedy Center. This work, as described by Maestro Scribner, “captures your spirit” with music ranging from “thunderous and loud and wonderful, to sweet and tender and evocative…At the end of it, you just can’t believe choral music can be that beautiful all by itself, it’s so incredible.”


Joining the Choral Arts will be members of Phil Snedecor’s Washington Symphonic Brass as well as organist William Neil playing both with the chorus and between choral pieces. In describing the Brass’ repertoire, Maestro Scribner describes the combination of the brass and choral pieces as “two concerts in one.” On how he will conduct up to eight different choirs positioned throughout the hall, Maestro Scribner answers, “Very, very carefully.”

Now entering its 45th Anniversary season, The Choral Arts Society of Washington is one of the major choral organizations in the United States with a symphonic chorus of over 180 professional-caliber volunteer singers. In addition to its subscription series, centered at the Kennedy Center, the Society has designed and implemented an award-winning educational program, and presented a variety of community outreach programs. Under the leadership of its founder and artistic director Norman Scribner the chorus has performed with leading symphony orchestras, sung under the world’s most distinguished conductors, produced 17 acclaimed recordings, and toured nationally and internationally.


2009-2010 Subscriptions Now on Sale Save up to 20% off single ticket prices | Best Seats | Discounted Subscription Add-Ons | Exclusive Invitations and Access | No-Hassle Ticket Exchanges | Concert Study Guides


Pricing Single tickets $15-$65 – New Prime Orchestra Pricing: $38 | MLK Choral Tribute $20 | Family Christmas $20-$30


The Washington Symphonic Brass (WSB), founded in 1993, is comprised of some of the finest professional musicians in the Washington/Baltimore area. While the members are in constant demand for orchestral, solo, and chamber music performances, they have assembled to play some of the great literature written for large brass ensemble. The late Milton Stevens and Phil Snedecor formed this group of players out of their love of and excitement for this fine literature. Individually, the members of the WSB have performed with many of the nation's best orchestras, such as the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, in addition to the nation’s top military bands. The WSB performs throughout the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan area, appearing at some of the great performance spaces on the East Coast.


Phil Snedecor attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he received the prestigious Performers Certificate and was a member of the premiere brass quintet, the Canterbury Brass. While earning his degrees in trumpet performance and literature he also studied arranging and composition with Professor Rayburn Wright, former arranger for Radio City Music Hall. Mr. Snedecor is a former member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and has held one year positions with the National Symphony the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Baltimore Opera. He is the former Principal Trumpet in the Harrisburg (PA) Symphony Orchestra and former Co-Principal Trumpet in the Alexandria Symphony. In 1995 Mr. Snedecor and National Symphony Principal Trombonist Milton Stevens co-founded the Washington Symphonic Brass (WSB), a 17-piece professional brass ensemble. In addition to his trumpet performance activities, he composes and arranges regularly for many brass groups, and has written a series of brass etude books that is available from Robert King Music.


William Neil, Organist and Harpsichordist of the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Philharmonic, is one of the Nation’s Capital’s most noted keyboard artists. From 1998-2000, he was Organist of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago, an esteemed post held by many of the world’s greatest organists. In 2001, he became Organist of The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. He has been a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra under the batons of Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Allessandro Siciliani, Christopher Hogwood, Iona Brown and Andrew Litton. His extensive discography includes recordings on the Philips, Sony, Naxos, and MSR Classics labels.

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