Brooklyn Youth Chorus Announces Solo Shows at BAM, Roulette in May


The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under the direction of founder Dianne Berkun, concludes its 20th anniversary season with two major solo performances at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music and Roulette. The BYC perform in the new Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival, a showcase of music and film curated by Bryce Dessner and Aaron Dessner of the indie band The National, on Saturday, May 5 at 6:00PM at the Bam Café. Two weeks later they present their annual Soundscapes program at Roulette onSaturday, May 19 at 8:00PM. 

The BYC will perform five works that have been written and arranged especially for them in the last year by prominent indie-classical composers, including three world premieres. These premieres include To The Sea by indie rock icon Bryce DessnerBefore the Words byShara Worden, who has performed under the experiment-pop moniker My Brightest Diamond; and a new arrangement of As Long As We Livby Missy Mazzoli, with text by Walt Whitman. All three composer-artists will perform in their own pieces, with Dessner playing guitar, Mazzoli playing keyboard, and Worden singing as part of the chorus. 

In addition, the “winsome melodies and sophisticated harmonies” (The New York Times) of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Here, which received its world premiere in March 2012 in the Brooklyn Village concert with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, will be performed for the second time. The BYC will also perform Tour Eiffel, a piece by Bryce Dessner that premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2011 as part of Nico Muhly’s newly commissioned collaborative work, Tell The Way, which launched the collaborations between the BYC and Dessner.

Bryce Dessner, best known as the guitarist for the acclaimed rock band The National alongside his brother Aaron, has also received widespread acclaim as a new music composer. In 2011-12, new works of his are being performed by the Kronos Quartet, the American Composers Orchestra, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Bang on a Can All-stars, and the Calder String Quartet. 

With their New Voices program—a commitment to developing and creating new projects with exciting artists and venues—the BYC has been collaborating closely with composers and adventurous venues on large-scale projects that go beyond the scope of the average choral commission. The performances at the Crossing Ferry Festival and Roulette capture the essence of what makes the BYC not only one of the country’s leading children’s choruses, but one that is redefining the role of a traditional youth chorus and expanding the repertoire.

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