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Win two free tickets to the Denver Pro Chorale concert!

Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Concerts | 0 comments

Win two free tickets to the Denver Pro Chorale concert!

Are you ready for Denver Pro Chorale’s Spring concert this Friday?  We hope so!  We just completed our final rehearsal at the Church of the Ascension and we are counting down the days! Would you like to win two free tickets to see us live?  Check out this picture of the chorale and guest percussionists Zack Argotsinger, Adam Brown, Jeff Gleason, and Rami Henry as we rehearse Balleilakka.  Can you identify the percussion instrument Jeff Gleason is playing in this photo? For your chance to win email the name of the instrument to info@denverprochorale.com by Thursday at 1:00pm MDT.  One winner will be selected at random and notified via email. Enter now for your chance to win!...

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Sanctus: In depth with the composer

Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Concert Notes | 0 comments

Sanctus: In depth with the composer

by Bryan Grosbach In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is a part of the Ordinary used in a traditional Catholic Mass, and is a text that has been set hundreds of times by composers throughout the centuries. When set to music, it is a movement that is also often included in a Requiem Mass (Mass for the Dead). Used as the fifth movement of Bryan Grosbach’s Requiem, the Sanctus holds a deep bond with the composer that may not be apparent on its surface: “Sanctus is a piece of work that holds a complex, but resolved, set of emotions in my heart. The text itself refers to the Holiness of God and His reigning illustriousness throughout heaven and earth alike. The text itself is a glorious declaration, and therefore invites a composer to set the text majestically, and stately. At the time of my writing of Sanctus as the fifth (but first chronologically composed) movement in my Requiem, I struggled with a very personal matter in my life that caused me to question my own understanding and faith. It was a crisis that shook me down to my very essence and menacingly aroused internal interrogation throughout my entire being. The word “Sanctus” (meaning ‘Holy’) took on a different meaning in my life at that time, embodying fear and anger rather than peace and divinity. In a composers life, writing music can be more than just a craft; it can be a form of provoked expression, or even therapy. Sanctus was my therapy, and can be tied to the range of emotions at the time that I was writing it. To help you understand, I would love to quickly take you through the piece: Sanctus begins forebodingly, with soloists popping from a murky texture, and eventually moves into a dark rumbling chant. This represents the conflict within me as I began to set out and cope with the calamity in my life. Almost mockingly, the next set of text that states “Heaven and earth are full of your glory,” is set in Bb minor, known as the darkest key in our tempered musical system, and often associated with death or despair; this was the undirected anger that I felt. The piece continues through powerful melodies throughout each voice section and even jolting modulations, escalating in complex harmonies and rhythms to a climactic chord that seems to lift off into the heavens itself; the final cry of anguish that I had left. As the chord dies, there is left a single tone, a profound and ringing tone of unimaginable health and peace. The soloists from the beginning who once represented despair now sing out with new purpose hidden in their repeating melodies: a single-mindedness of hope. Peace seems to spread throughout the cosmos as the choir sings gently underneath the soloists with rich and deep chords as the one tone continues to ring as a pillar of strength and resolution. Finally as one, the choir comes to the last word, “Sanctus,” and the last chord fades into nothing in a final cadence of resolution. This was the last measure of music I wrote, and with it went away all of my anger, fear, and doubt. The act of imprinting myself in the music helped me find peace. I hope that as you, the audience, listen to this work that you yourself will find a...

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Insights into Walt Whitman’s Poetry in A Procession Winding Around Me

Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Insights into Walt Whitman’s Poetry in A Procession Winding Around Me

By Kevin Hindley Jeffrey Van’s four-movement song cycle “A Procession Winding Around Me” is an enthralling and cathartic backward gaze into American history. To empower his masterful word-painting compositional style, Van utilizes poetic reflections produced by Walt Whitman upon his own return from visiting American Civil War camps. Setting the text for mixed choir accompanied by a single classical guitar, Van achieves a great breadth of texture, from full and frantic to sparse, isolated, and pure. The work in four movements takes us into the mind’s eye of a Civil War soldier: in the first movement, experiencing the winding, restless, fitful, fearful, and longing thoughts of a quiet camp or “bivouac” the night before battle. In the second movement, we awake to the violent heat and terror of battle, fighting for life and ideals and without regard, as was common in our terrible Civil War, for family-relation, youth, age, position, or gender. Nothing could stand in the way of the beating drums and sounding bugles of the marching war machine. Movement three: the heat of the battle has gone with the sun, and the bright light of the moon and quiet of the night reveal the eerie and abhorrent remains left in the wake of war. It is easy to forget how much the carnage of battle has changed since cannon-and-rifle warfare. Van bleakly cradles the bloated bodies, purple and death-rattled corpses, in a detached but gentle and serene moon-glow. It is said that the population takes two generations to forget.  When the time comes that a dark era in our history is not remembered by anyone still living, we simply release the emotions that were attached to it.  Van calls his final movement, “Reconciliation.” Here we have a sharp, audible contrast to the other, more dissonant movements, which explore forms of fear: worry, terror, and haunting. “Reconciliation” reassures us with consonant, soothing, rich strokes of sound that as time passes, the violence and injustice of the past is cleansed from our hearts and memories, we see not enemies but only humanity, and the world renews itself. We hope you will join us for a live performance of this beautiful, visceral, and thought-provoking work  at Denver Pro Chorale’s concert, Friday April 11th at 7:30pm at the Church of the Ascension, 600 Gilpin St., Denver, CO 80218.  Buy your tickets online here. __________________________________________ Kevin Hindley is a composer, actor, and vocalist in Denver, CO.  He specializes in vocal and choral writing, and strings.  Kevin currently performs with the Denver Pro Chorale, and will be appearing this summer at Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center in “The Music Man.” To hear samples of his work, search “Kevin Hindley” on...

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Learn more about Alex Komodore

Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Guest performers | 0 comments

Learn more about Alex Komodore

Learn more about guitarist Alex Komodore who will be performing Jeffrey Van’s Procession Winding Around Me with the Denver Pro Chorale in the Spring concert. Alex Komodore is a Denver-based virtuoso guitarist. His powerful interpretations, formidable technique, and natural musicianship have won unanimous praise from critics, audiences, and many of the world’s finest guitarists. First Prize National winner in the Music Teachers National Association 1985 guitar category, his subsequent appearances on NPR and PBS broadcasts brought swift national acclaim. John Dileberto of PBS Echoes, gave his collaborative 1990 CD Redstone with flutist Rod Garnett a rare highest rating, which also earned the coveted “Best of Westword” best classical recording of 1990. He has played as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra soloist in virtually every concert venue along the Front Range. He has performed extensively across the United States, including at New York’s Town Hall at the age of 11, a solo recital in historic New York’s St. Paul’s Chapel at the age of 16, and an appearance at the United Nations while still a music performance major at New York University. His 1994 solo debut recording Passport won praises from several of the world’s most prominent guitarists, including Christopher Parkening and Sharon Isbin, both who hailed his interpretation of Carlo Domeniconi’s Koyunbaba as “Terrific!” Of his cd, David Russell, remarked, “Played with beautiful atmosphere, and great skill.”  His many CD appearances on Etherean, Folk Era, Delos, Salt, and Poco a Poco labels have received global distribution, including worldwide airplay at the 1992 Summer Olympics from Barcelona. His recordings and appearances with top-notch choral ensembles such as Kantori and the St. John’s Cathedral Choir have also received national acclaim. A tireless teacher, Alex heads the guitar program at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he is assistant professor of guitar and music theory. Many of his former students have placed in international guitar competitions and top graduate music schools in the U.S.and abroad. His columns on guitar technique and advice have also been featured in Fingerstyle Guitar magazine....

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