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"Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything."
- PlatoMusic video by Yo-Yo Ma performing Bach: Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, Prélude (Official Video). (C) 2018 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony...

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Tune in to WWFM on Sunday, February 24th at 2:00 p.m to hear Artistic Director Steven Sametz host their program, Sounds Choral. He will be surveying British choral works and previewing our performances next weekend at Princeton University Art Museum, in which William Byrd's Mass for Four Voices will be featured.

More information on the broadcast can be found at www.wwfm.org, and on the performances at www.princetonsingers.org

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4 months ago

The Princeton Singers

The Princeton University Chapel Choir, under the direction of Penna Rose with University Organist Eric Plutz, will give the premiere performance of Steven Sametz's "Veni Creator Spiritus" during the 11 am service at Princeton University Chapel on November 18th. The 6-minute work, scored for multiple choirs placed around the Princeton Chapel, organ, percussion, handbells and water glasses, commemorates the 90th Anniversary of the opening of the Princeton Chapel.

Sametz writes:

On entering the Princeton University Chapel, I was struck by not only the grandeur of a sacred space, but by a powerful sense of history – so many generations of students, so many honors bestowed, so many songs raised. My second impression was of the acoustical properties the building itself presented as an instrument and the many ways sound could reverberate in it depending on the placement of the singers. My third guiding impression, on being introduced to the Princeton Chapel Choir by director Penna Rose one day in May of 2018, was of the possibilities inherent in writing for a very inquisitive, very capable, and adventurous group of singers.

By chance, I was informed that day of a tradition of the Princeton Chapel of using many languages in the course of the service at Pentecost. This led me to consider using that tradition for a new work for the Chapel commemoration: something that would use the spatial potential of the building, build on traditions, showcase the flexibility and intelligence of the choir, utilize the exceptional organ (and organist!) of the Princeton Chapel, and acknowledge the intrepid spirit of director Penna Rose, who early on told me, as I was pondering some levels of aleatoric writing for the piece, “I love chaos.”

The verses in the Book of Acts describe a chaotic scene, indeed. The rush of wind and descending fire inspirits those present ­– much to their own amazement – to speak in tongues. What is actually said in tongues is not outlined, which led to a choice of texts from Acts and 2 Chornicles that the choir would whisper, speak and shout in as many languages as possible.

The characterization of the “mighty wind” falls to the organ, with clusters of ominous dissonance surging upward on a rush of chromaticism. The choral writing features a set of variations on the Gregorian chant “Veni creator spiritus,” (“Come creator Spirit”). This chant seemed like a natural utterance for those suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit. The initial variations feature single or multiple voices creating a cloud-like sound palette, depicting the mystery of the spirit descending. The last of the variations becomes a hymn of faith, still tinged however with the other-worldly harmonies of the rushing wind.

The work builds to an ecstatic climax, with the choirs’ declamation of all texts in a tumult of sound.

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7 months ago

The Princeton Singers

The Summer Choral Composers Forum at Lehigh University is a bi-annual event that The Princeton Singers is very fortunate to participate in. This video captures the the thoughts of those who were a part of it this past summer including several of the composers, Steven Sametz, founder of the program and Artistic Director of The Princeton Singers, and Guest Mentor-Composers, Aaron Jay Kernis.The Lehigh Choral Composers Forum, in association with the ACDA, offers a unique opportunity to composers of all levels to explore and develop their composit... ...

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9 months ago

The Princeton Singers

Saturday, June 23rd @ 8:00 p.m.
Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University

This week we are once again the resident chorus for the Lehigh University-ACDA Summer Choral Composers Forum.

Composers from around the country come to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA for a week-long experience in which they compose new music daily, and get to hear it performed for them live while the ink's still drying. Based on feedback from the singers, their piece is re-worked and fine-tuned under the expert tutelage of renowned composers Steven Sametz and Aaron Jay Kernis.

The week culminates with a performance of all new works in a Concert of Premieres on Saturday, June 23rd at 8pm in Baker Hall at the Zoellner Arts Center, which is FREE and open to the public! No tickets required!

Music doesn't get any newer than this!

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