Brooklyn Youth Chorus to Serve as WQXR’s Artists-in-Residence for the 2016-17 Season

Brooklyn Youth Chorus to Serve as WQXR’s Artists-in-Residence for the 2016-17 Season

Residency Includes Co-Commissioning, with Brooklyn Youth Chorus 
and BAM of the Chorus’ Silent Voices,

An Ambitious Multimedia, Multi-Composer Work That Tackles Pressing Social Justice Issues
The Chorus to Give Three Live Performances from The Greene Space at WQXR
 

(New York, NY – October 4, 2016)WQXR, New York’s only all-classical radio station, has selected GRAMMY Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus as its Artists-in-Residence for the 2016-17 season.

The WQXR Artist-in-Residence program supports the creative process of an artist or ensemble over the course of a year and provides audiences with exclusive access to original material – from live performances and broadcasts, to artist interviews and editorial features.

The centerpiece of the residency is Silent Voices, an ambitious multimedia, multi-composer series commissioned by Brooklyn Youth Chorus, WQXR and BAM. The work is conceived by Brooklyn Youth Chorus founder and Artistic Director, Dianne Berkun Menaker; produced and performed by the Chorus; directed by Kristin Marting; and features music by Jeff Beal (“House of Cards”), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Alicia Hall Moran, Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin), Nico Muhly, Toshi Reagon, Caroline Shaw and others, and writing by Hilton Als (The New Yorker) and Claudia Rankine (Citizen). The project addresses social issues including power and privilege, gender roles and stereotyping, systemic racism, and economic inequity.

The Chorus will perform excerpts from Silent Voices at a launch event at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space on Friday, October 21. Q2 Music – WQXR’s online music channel dedicated to musical discovery and living composers – will document the creative process of the composers and choristers through online audio and video features over the course of the residency. In addition, Q2 Music will stream all Silent Voices concerts, including off-site performances with National Sawdust, Alliance Française, and BAM. The audio from each concert will be recorded for on-demand streaming at q2music.org throughout the season. 

Additional events include a Brooklyn Youth Chorus holiday concert on Thursday, December 8 and a celebration for the release on New Amsterdam Records of the Chorus’ Black Mountain Songs album on Friday, March 31, 2017. Each performance in The Greene Space will be offered as a live video webcast at wqxr.org and thegreenespace.org and will be available for on-demand viewing afterwards at wqxr.org.
 

Schedule of Performances at The Greene Space:

  • Friday, October 21, 2016, 7:30pm: Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ residency commences with an evening featuring the work of composers whose music have shaped the Chorus’ artistic development, and helped expand the boundaries of choral performance, including Bryce Dessner, Caroline Shaw, Richard Reed Parry, Kirk Nurock and Ellis Ludwig-Leone. The Chorus will also perform preview excerpts from Silent Voices, with music by Jeff Beal (House of Cards), Nico Muhly and Shara Nova. Q2 Music’s Helga Davis hosts.
     
  • Thursday, December 8, 2016, 7:30pm: For WQXR’s Holiday Concert, Brooklyn Youth Chorus shares the joy of the holiday season, performing composer Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and works by Daniel Brewbaker and Joel Martin, as well as arrangements of popular carols. 
     
  • Friday, March 31, 2017, 7:30pm: WQXR celebrates the release of Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ Black Mountain Songs album on New Amsterdam Records, with music by Bryce Dessner, Richard Reed Parry and Caroline Shaw. Q2 Music’s Helga Davis hosts.

“WQXR’s Artist-in-Residence program celebrates Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ 25-year commitment of engaging children and young adults in the joys of choral singing, and expanding the possibilities of choral repertoire with passion and purpose,” said Mikel Ellcessor, Interim General Manager, WQXR. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with these amazing artists, whose songs not only explore discrimination and struggle but also the perseverance and triumph of the human spirit. We look forward to sharing their journey with our audiences in-person, on air, and online.” 

"Brooklyn Youth Chorus is so grateful for the recognition and opportunity to share our music with the WQXR audience," said Dianne Berkun Menaker, Founder and Artistic Director of Brooklyn Youth Chorus. "We are excited to introduce a new body of original choral music, from an exciting range of artists, that celebrates and complements the diversity of our ensemble and our city, and crosses musical, social and cultural boundaries."

Now entering its 25th anniversary season, the GRAMMY Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under founder and artistic director Dianne Berkun Menaker, is one of the country’s leading youth choruses and the vocal ensemble of choice for internationally renowned orchestras and artists. The Chorus studies and performs a vast repertoire of music—classical and contemporary—and has an active commissioning program, New Voices, to develop works for young voices across a variety of genres. Composers commissioned to date include Nico Muhly, David Lang, Bryce Dessner, Missy Mazzoli, Paul Moravec, Julia Wolfe, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Shara Worden, John King, Colin Stetson, and others. The Chorus serves more than 550 singers annually in ten ensembles at its headquarters in Cobble Hill and locations in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Red Hook and Sunset Park. Choristers, who range in age from 7 to 19, hail from 71 different zip codes, reflecting the broad diversity of the Metropolitan area.

Past WQXR Artist-in-Residence include the New York Philharmonic principal clarinetist Anthony McGill, The Knights and acclaimed soprano Deborah Voigt.

WQXR 105.9 FM, which streams live at www.wqxr.org, is New York City’s only all-classical music station, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. WQXR presents new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, among other venues. WQXR also broadcasts essential destination programs including New York Philharmonic This Week and The McGraw-Hill Financial Young Artists Showcase. For listeners in search of the new, WQXR operates Q2 Music, an online music stream dedicated to contemporary classical composers, cross-genre adventures, and performances from New York City's edgier venues. Operavore is WQXR’s opera site featuring news, interviews, and commentaries from the world of opera, as well as a 24/7 all-opera stream. WQXR.org provides essential playlist information and online listening, as well as original content, host blogs, NYC cultural news, and videos.  The station’s free mobile app allows listeners to take WQXR with them wherever they go. As a public radio station, WQXR is supported by the generosity of its members and sponsors, making classical music relevant, accessible and inspiring for listeners in New York City and around the globe.

Q2 Music is WQXR’s online music channel dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles and musical discovery. Its programming includes immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts such as composer Phil Kline and vocalist Helga Davis, full-length album streams, live webcasts and exclusive concert audio from local and national venues, and special events in front of live audiences at The Greene Space at WQXR. Q2 Music produces Meet the Composer with host Nadia Sirota, a Peabody Award-winning interview podcast which mines the brains of today’s leading composers. Q2 Music is streamed live 24/7 at www.wqxr.org/q2music and is also available via the free WQXR App.