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The Crossing Releases CAROLS AFTER A PLAGUE On New Focus Recordings December 9

Carols after a Plague brings together 12 composers to write new works for The Crossing.

The Crossing Releases CAROLS AFTER A PLAGUE On New Focus Recordings December 9

On December 9, 2022, acclaimed GRAMMY-winning choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, releases its 29th album Carols after a Plague, on New Focus Recordings (physical album available January 6, 2023).

Premiered in December 2021 during The Crossing @ Christmas concerts in Philadelphia, PA, Carols after a Plague brings together 12 composers to write new works for The Crossing. Following the premiere, The Philadelphia Inquirer described Carols after a Plague as having "frankly acknowledged our revised reality but with a kind of humanitarian awareness revealing manifestations of love behind the troubles we're seeing."

Framed by Shara Nova's work, Carols after a Plague, the album features works by Tyshawn Sorey, Edith Canat de Chizy, Joseph C. Phillips, Jr., L.J. White, Samantha Fernando, Leila Adu-Gilmore, Nina Shekhar, Vanessa Lan, Mary Jane Leach, Alex Burko, and Viet Cuong. Ranging from ruminations about isolation and discontent, to invitations to sing, to reflections about our common humanity and what brings us together, each composer submits their own brief carol showcasing a variety of deeply personal and diverse interpretations of the pandemic. For example, Adu-Gilmore's piece Colouring-In Book, dedicated "to every child, teenager & adult who needs to know that they are not alone," acknowledges the struggle of everyday people by using imagery of the black and white coloring book to represent the tension of trying hard at life only to achieve the same outcomes.

"Our plagues are many - a pandemic, racism, gun violence, poverty.... - and we learn to live with them," Donald Nally said. "Maybe, someday, these carols will, like their more conventional predecessors, hold similar purpose in the lives of future generations: songs they will come together and sing to remind them of times past, stories in which their ancestors overcame challenges while they celebrated life and wondered at the mystery of its endings. Songs about community, about enlightenment, and about salvation reached, not from a benevolent deity, but from ourselves."

The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its nearly 150 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.

The Crossing collaborates with some of the world's most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Beth Morrison Projects, Allora & Calzadilla, Bang on a Can, Klockriketeatern, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Similarly, The Crossing often collaborates with some of the world's most prestigious venues and presenters, such as the Park Avenue Armory, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, National Sawdust, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Haarlem Choral Biennale in The Netherlands, The Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, The Kennedy Center in Washington, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, Winter Garden with WNYC, and Duke, Northwestern, Colgate, and Notre Dame Universities. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana.

With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has released 29 albums, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and seven Grammy nominations. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forum's 2017 Champion of New Music. They were the recipients of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, and the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America.
Recently, The Crossing has expanded its choral presentation to film, working with Four/Ten Media, in-house sound designer Paul Vazquez of Digital Mission Audio Services, visual artists Brett Snodgrass, Eric Southern, and Steven Bradshaw, and composers David Lang, Paul Fowler, and Michael Gordon on live and animated versions of new and existing works. Lang's protect yourself from infection and in nature were specifically designed to be performed within the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which The Crossing premiered a number of newly-commissioned works for outdoors by Matana Roberts, Wang Lu, and Ayanna Woods.

The Crossing is represented by Alliance Artist Management. All of its concerts are broadcast on WRTI, Philadelphia's Classical and Jazz public radio station. Learn more at www.crossingchoir.org.



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