Orlando Sings to Present Second Annual Choral Festival

The festival will open on May 18th.

By: May. 13, 2023
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Orlando Sings to Present Second Annual Choral Festival

Orlando Sings, one of Central Florida's newest professional arts organizations, is gearing up to end their successful second season with a three-concert series in downtown Orlando. The second annual Orlando Sings Choral Festival will take place at First United Methodist Church of Orlando and will feature its flagship ensemble, Orlando Sings Symphonic Chorus along with its newest auditioned ensemble for soprano and alto voices, Harmonia, and the fully professional Solaria Singers.

The festival will open on May 18th with a joy-filled concert entitled I Believe featuring composers Margaret Bonds and André Thomas. The stunning Harmonia ensemble, Orlando Sings' auditioned soprano-alto ensemble, will open the program with three stirring works for soprano-alto chorus. Next on the program will be Margaret Bonds' Credo, a setting of W. E. B. Du Bois' prose poem in which he declares his philosophy of racial equality. This will be conducted by Orlando mover-and-shaker Chevalier Lovett in his Orlando Sings debut. Subtitled "A Celebration of Love and Joy," the gospel-style mass of André J. Thomas with piano, drums, and bass guitar will uplift and inspire. Filling out that rhythm section will be drummer Gerald Law, bassist Vernay Reindollar and Ledean Williams on piano.

The festival continues on May 20th, also at First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando with two more captivating concerts and a catered dinner event.

At 5:00 PM, Orlando Sings' professional ensemble Solaria will present Timothy Takach's Helios, a concert-length work that explores the mythology surrounding our galaxy. Takach is one of choral music's leading composers, and his gifts for melody and drama are evident throughout this unique contemporary work. This will be the Southeastern US premiere of Helios featuring visual projections created by artist Deborah Johnson. Takach himself will be in residence with Orlando Sings throughout the festival.

A catered dinner will immediately follow the performance of Helios where composers and conductors will give a presentation and be available to answer questions about the music.

"It is a special opportunity for our community to interact with the composer of a work. I am thrilled we have TWO of the composers on our Festival program, Timothy Takach and Jocelyn Hagen, who will join us over the weekend. They will coach the ensembles, provide insight, and help shape our performances to match their original artistic vision for the piece. Imagine if we could go back to 1791 and have Mozart himself work with us on his Requiem. This is essentially what we get to do when interacting with composers of today- no time machine required! We are so fortunate to have this opportunity, and I am especially excited that our audience members will also have the chance to meet and interact with them at our dinner event between concerts on May 20th," said Andrew Minear, artistic and executive director.

The final program of the Orlando Sings Choral Festival features Symphonic Chorus along with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. It includes three works inspired by historically significant figures of the Renaissance. Ottorino Respighi's colorful Botticelli Triptych was inspired by three Botticelli paintings: La Primavera (Spring), L'Adorazione dei Magi (The Adoration of the Magi), and La nascita di Venere (The Birth of Venus).

Into the Light by contemporary composer Jake Runestad is inspired by The Reformation led by Martin Luther, a contemporary of Botticelli and da Vinci. Rather than create a museum piece for the Reformation, Runestad asked himself what reforming means in our world today: What are the major issues plaguing our world and what is their cause? Who has addressed these issues through their work and their words (in the vein of Martin Luther)? How can we address these issues through a musical work for chorus and orchestra in a meaningful way? Into the Light allows us to be immersed in the wisdom of some of the most important and influential reformers in history, and challenges us to consider how we can move beyond fear and onto a path of love, compassion, and kindness.

Utilizing the latest in video syncing technology, Jocelyn Hagan's The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci is brought to life through daVinci's own words and drawings in an unforgettable multimedia concert experience created for choir, orchestra, and video projections. Jocelyn Hagen, the composer and creative force behind the visual component, designed the work so that the music serves as the foundation for the film instead of it functioning as purely a supporting musical soundtrack.

Hagen includes Da Vinci's intricate handwriting and stunningly beautiful sketches as a visual component to this piece. As a writer, da Vinci wrote from right to left, backwards, as if in a mirror. These beautifully scribed words scroll above the musicians and add a wonderful texture to the performance. Many sketches in the notebooks are of the human form, corresponding perfectly to his observations on the proportions of the body. Filmmaker Isaac Gale took these images and breathed life into them with a living Vitruvian Man in the fifth movement.

Ion Concert Media created MUSÈIK (pronounced mew-ZAY-ik), the world's most advanced digital sync software, just a few years ago. The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci is the first large concert work to be created that utilizes it to its fullest potential.


May 18 & 20 at First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando

May 18, 2023 | 7:30 PM | Orlando Sings Symphonic Chorus & Harmonia present:

May 20, 2023

  • 5:00 PM | Solaria presents STARLIGHT featuring Timothy C. Takach's Helios
  • 6:15 PM | STARLIGHT DINNER - a catered dinner and meet & greet with composers Tim Takach & Jocelyn Hagan
  • 8:00 PM Symphonic Chorus presents VISIONARY LIGHT featuring Ottorino Respighi's Botticelli Triptych, Jake Runestad's Into the Light, & Jocelyn Hagan's The Notebooks of Leonardo DaVinci

Tickets can be purchased online at https://orlandosings.org


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