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The Crossing to Present 12 World Premieres in CAROLS AFTER A PLAGUE

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The program will feature world premieres by Leila Adu, Alex Berko, Edith Canat de Chizy, Viet Cuong, Samantha Fernando, Vanessa Lann, and more.

The Crossing to Present 12 World Premieres in CAROLS AFTER A PLAGUE

Grammy Award-winning choir The Crossing, led by conductor Donald Nally, is continuing its 2021-2022 season with their annual Jeffrey Dinsmore Memorial Concerts, The Crossing @ Christmas. This year's program is the culmination of a year-long focused project: Carols after a Plague, features an evening of world premieres by Leila Adu, Alex Berko, Edith Canat de Chizy, Viet Cuong, Samantha Fernando, Vanessa Lann, Mary Jane Leach, Shara Nova, Joseph C. Phillips Jr., Nina Shekhar, Tyshawn Sorey, and LJ White. The composers' works all address the topic of plague - be it a pandemic, racism, climate change, gun violence, homelessness, diasporas, isolation, or loneliness - through their own idea of a carol, a brief choral work of joy or lament.

Carols after a Plague premieres Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 3:00pm at Dekelboum Concert Hall in College Park, MD presented by The Clarice Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. The concert then travels to the Harold L. Zellerbach Theatre at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, PA on Friday, December 17, 2021 at 7:00pm presented by Penn Live Arts, and The Crossing's home at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 5:00pm. On December 19, there will be a pre-concert talk with many of the featured composers at 4:00pm in the Chapel, and after the performance, audience members can meet many of the composers at the post-concert reception in Widener Hall.

The Crossing asked twelve composers - twelve, representative of the divisions of the hour, the year, and the days of Christmas - to respond to the project title, leaving it to them to address what "Carols after a Plague" meant to them: an exercise in perspective, experience, and histories that are widely and at times wildly different. In return, The Crossing received twelve deeply personal, musical ruminations on our battered, resilient world. Not one of these carols is a carol in the traditional sense, yet all focus both singers and audience on a particular, relevant topic for a moment; the moments add up to a concert that, while incredibly unique, accomplishes what The Crossing attempts each December-an examination of who we are in the world, and how we treat each other.

Conductor Donald Nally explains, "These are our carols: of our time, dressing and addressing wounds, looking forward, bringing us together, reminding us of our own humanity - a goal that lies at the heart of this annual gathering. Not a Christmas-specific event at all, but rather, one of unanswered questions delivered through the filter of composers' thoughts over a foundation of truth and grace. 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, enlightenment, and salvation, reached, not from a benevolent deity, but from ourselves."

Program Information


The Crossing @ Christmas: Carols after a Plague
Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 3:00pm
Dekelboum Concert Hall | 8270 Alumni Dr | College Park, MD 20742
Presented by The Clarice Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland
Tickets: Pay What You Wish policy - Suggested price: $20 Regular, $10 Student
Link: https://www.crossingchoir.org/events/2021-22/christmas-clarice

Friday, December 17, 2021 at 7:00pm
Harold L. Zellerbach Theatre at the Annenberg Center | 3680 Walnut St | Philadelphia, PA 19104
Presented by Penn Live Arts
Tickets: $35
Link: https://www.crossingchoir.org/events/2021-22/christmas-annenberg

Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 5:00pm
Pre-Concert Talk with the Composers in the Chapel at 4:00pm
Meet the Composers at the Post-Concert Reception in Widener Hall
The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill | 8855 Germantown Ave | Philadelphia, PA 19118
Tickets: $35 General admission, $25 Senior, $20 Student
Link: https://www.crossingchoir.org/events/2021-22/christmas-pcch

Shara Nova - Carols after a Plague [World Premiere]
I. Urgency
II. Tone-policing
III. Resolve
Tyshawn Sorey - Requiem for a Plague [World Premiere]
Edith Canat de Chizy - Rising Stars [World Premiere]
Joseph C. Phillips, Jr. - The Undisappeared [World Premiere]
LJ White - a carol called love [World Premiere]
Samantha Fernando - Everything Passes, Everything is Connected [World Premiere]
Leila Adu - Colouring-In Book [World Premiere]
Nina Shekhar - y-mas [World Premiere]
Mary Jane Leach - Alone Together [World Premiere]
Alex Berko - Exodus [World Premiere]
Viet Cuong - Still So Much to Say [World Premiere]
Vanessa Lann - Shining Still [World Premiere]

Masks and proof of vaccination are required to attend Carols after a Plague at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. Masks must be worn at all times while indoors and vaccination cards will be checked by front of house staff prior to entry into the Sanctuary. The choir will sing unmasked


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