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The Crossing Awarded $360,000 Grant From The Pew Center For Arts & Heritage For Ted Hearne's FARMING

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Farming is The Crossing's fifth major project to receive such support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

The Crossing Awarded $360,000 Grant From The Pew Center For Arts & Heritage For Ted Hearne's FARMING

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage today announced a major grant of $300,000 to GRAMMY-winning new-music choir The Crossing in support of Farming, a concert-length musical work by frequent Crossing collaborator, composer Ted Hearne, to be premiered in summer 2023. The new work, which addresses food production and its effects on the environment and individuals, will be performed in a setting new to the ensemble: Kings Oaks Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This sustainable farm retains the agronomical concerns of centuries past and reflects conductor Donald Nally's formative upbringing in rural Pennsylvania - experiences seminal to this project's inception. The project also includes a studio recording that will live on in a digital format, and a film of the outdoor, dusk performance.

Farming is The Crossing's fifth major project to receive such support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, dating back to Seneca Sounds in 2011, followed by The Gulf (between you and me) in 2013, Seven Responses in 2016, and Aniara in 2019. Pew has also gifted The Crossing with an additional $60,000 as unrestricted general operating support.

Donald Nally responded to the news: "The Crossing has grown in imagination, concept, and, indeed, size through the visionary support of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. We are grateful and humbled to be included in this year's grantees - a list of amazingly creative minds and organizations that makes us once again feel so fortunate to make our home in Philadelphia."

Following a practice familiar to Ted Hearne - as in such works as Place; The Source; and his Pulitzer Prize-finalist Sound from the Bench, a Crossing co-commission - the libretto will be developed from original source material, with input from Nally and director Kaneza Schaal, combining these materials with the stories of those who farm, receive from farms, and who fuel controversy through corporate interests. The sound world of singing and the farm will be enhanced by six instrumentalists, expanding the color palette and making volume an element of both consonance and dissonance with the surroundings, as curated by The Crossing's in house sound designer Paul Vazquez.

Through the work of lighting designer Pablo Santiago, the performers of Farming will emerge from the natural light of dusk into focus as the sun sets and the farm returns to darkness. The sound, lighting, staging, music, and words will all remind us of our location and our proximity to the food source (at the audience's feet and hands), surrounded by our roots: literally, considering the roots that feed plants and the roots of our farming and our dependence on it. The audience will exit Farming, walking with the performers through the field to the farmhouse, with the smells and sounds of a Pennsylvania crop in late June, Hearne's music giving way to the music of the farm at night.

About The Crossing
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 110 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, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Beth Morrison Projects, Allora & Calzadilla, Bang on a Can, Klockriketeatern, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Similarly, The Crossing often collaborates with some of 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 where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison.

With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 21 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five 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 and Steven Bradshaw, and composers David Lang 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.

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.

Photo Credit: Kevin Vondrak



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