Saratoga Choral Festival

July 14–August 2, 2015
Saratoga Springs, NY

Singers meet for rehearsals over a three-week period in Saratoga Springs beginning Tuesday, July 14, and will perform in a concert open to the public at the on August 2. Music Director: Andrea Goodman.

As part of the city’s centennial celebration, the Saratoga Choral Festival will present a concert of music by Yaddo composers past and present. Music by world-renowned Yaddo composers Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici, and spiritual and sacred choral works by Nathaniel Dett, one of the few African American composers invited to Yaddo in the early years, will be featured.

Dett (1882–1943) was one of the most successful black composers of his time. After becoming the first African American to receive a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin in 1908, Dett later received a Master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music. He is remembered for using folk songs and spirituals— “the melodies of enslaved people”—in his choral and piano compositions, lyric and operatic works, and concertos.

Also featured are Yaddo resident and Skidmore professor Evan Mack (The Fountain) and Thomas Oboe Lee (Mechthild von Magdeburg for chorus and strings). Other selections will be Del Tredici’s "Acrostic Song" from Final Alice, Copland’s "The Promise of Living," Bernstein’s "Wonderful Town," Louise Talma’s "Let’s Touch the Sky" for choir and winds, Virgil Thompson’s Hymns from the Old South, Ned Rorem’s "Give All to Love" for choir and piano, and more.

Concert: August 2 at 3:00 p.m., at Spa Little Theater in the Saratoga Spa State Park.

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