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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2014
Bel Canto Chorus Celebrates Community Ties with Our 2014-15 Season.
I AM Bel Canto
Throughout Milwaukee during the 1930s, evenings were filled with music as choral societies continued the strong singing tradition of 19th Century Germany. In 1931, one of these groups was the Festival Singers of Milwaukee. It was a small a cappella chorus that specialized in sacred music. This was the beginning of Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee, a choral group that has continued for more than 84 years. In 1988, current Music Director Richard Hynson began leading the group and broadened its repertoire to include not only sacred but classical and 20th Century composers. Today, Bel Canto Chorus is the finest choral arts organization in Milwaukee and is known throughout the choral music world as a preeminent vocal arts institution. Bel Canto Chorus is made up of local people with tremendous talent. Bel Canto singers come from all walks of life. Singers may be your banker, your postal worker, your children’s teacher, or the person who wrote the code for your favorite phone app. Everyone in Bel Canto Chorus is held to high musical standards and puts in 35+ hours of rehearsal for each concert. What you hear is the result of people you know coming together to produce amazing music. We, your friends and neighbors, are Bel Canto – Are you?
Our 2014-15 Season of Concerts
Bel Canto begins the season with Gioacchino Rossini’s final work: the Petite Messe Solennelle, which as Rossini himself pointed out was neither petite nor particularly solemn. This work for four soloists, chorus, two pianos, and harmonium shows Rossini at his witty, profound best. Bel Canto will offer this extraordinary work on October 19th at 3 PM at Shully’s Watermark in Thiensville where, like the nobility who attended the premiere, guest will be able to sip Italian wine, eat delicacies, and allow the performers transport them to a more genteel time.
In December, the traditions of Christmas will come alive once more in Christmas at the Basilica on Saturday, December 13th at 7:30 PM and Sunday, December 14th at 3 PM and 6:30 PM. Returning to the Basilica of St. Josaphat, patrons will hear performances of their favorite carols and have the opportunity to sing along with Bel Canto, the Stained Glass Brass, and organ. We will also perform Music Director Richard Hynson’s own composition The Christmas Story and will present the American premiere of Gordon Thornett’s Gloria.
On January 17, 2015 at 3 PM at Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ, the powerful words of Dr. King and the music of his time will resound once more in a Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. as we commemorate his life and recognize the progress made toward his dream of peace and brotherhood. Bel Canto will join the choir of Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ and gospel soloists to celebrate with music of hope, peace, and joy.
Bel Canto will offer the rare opportunity to hear Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion performed live at St. Dominic Catholic Parish in Brookfield on March 22, 2015. This monumental oratorio, considered by the composer himself to be his crowning triumph, combines the artistry of soloists, two choruses, our boy choir, and two chamber orchestras to retell the drama of Christ’s final days through the words of St. Matthew. As Bach himself wanted his congregation to understand the text with an immediacy that Latin could not offer, he wrote his oratorio in the vernacular. In keeping with his intent, our performance will be presented in English.
On May 20, 2015 at 7 PM, Bel Canto will present a program of 20th and 21st century American music, some of it already iconic and some hot off the presses. Modern American Choral Masters at 1451 Renaissance Place will include performances of Eric Whitacre’s Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine and Cloudburst, as well as works by upcoming composers such as Jake Runestad, Paul Fowler, and even some Billy Joel!
Tickets ($25 - $55) are available online at www.belcanto.org or by phone at (414) 481-8801. FlexPasses can also be purchased by phone only to save up to 20% off Tier 1 single ticket prices. Senior, student, and group discounts are available.
The 2014-25 Bel Canto Chorus concert season is presented in part with support from the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF); the Bradley Foundation; the Herzfeld Foundation; CAMPAC, the Milwaukee County Arts Board; and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Petite messe solennelle - Gioacchino Rossini
October 19, 2014 at 3:00 PM
Shully’s Watermark, 146 Green Bay Road, Thiensville, WI 53092
Christmas in the Basilica
With Bel Canto Boy Choirs and Stained Glass Brass
December 13 at 7:30 PM
December 14 at 3 & 6:30 PM
St. Josaphat Basilica, 2333 South 6th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53215.
Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 17, 2015 at 3:00 PM
Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ,
3500 W Mother Daniels Way, Milwaukee, WI 53209
St. Matthew Passion – JS Bach
With Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra
March 22, 2015 at 3:00 PM
St. Dominic Catholic Parish, 18255 W Capitol Drive, Brookfield, WI 53045
Modern American Choral Masters
May 20, 2015 at 7 PM
1451 Renaissance Place, 1451 Prospect Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202
About Richard Hynson
This is Richard Hynson’s 27th season as Music Director of Bel Canto Chorus. Since 2006, Hynson has also served as Music Director of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra. In addition to his work as a conductor and educator, Hynson is a composer. He has written a substantial body of published choral, vocal, and ensemble works, many of which he has recorded with Bel Canto Chorus singers. The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants have frequently performed Hynson’s “In the Midst of Life,” composed in response to the events of September 11.
About Bel Canto Chorus
Founded in 1931, Bel Canto Chorus enriches the lives of its audiences and members through the presentation of fine choral music. The group has been led for more than 26 years by Richard Hynson, considered one of the nation's finest choral and orchestral conductors (American Prize Winner 2012). Bel Canto Chorus ranks in the top ten percent of choral organizations in the country in terms of budget, longevity, and repertoire. Educational outreach includes Bel Canto Senior Singers and Bel Canto Boy Choirs. Rehearsals are held at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. Characterized by a heartfelt belief in the value of Bel Canto Chorus, and supported by its 100+ devoted singers, audiences, talented artistic and administrative staff, and dedicated board members, the group's passion for sharing the thrill of live, choral music has remained steadfast throughout its long, proud history.
For additional information, promotional photos, or interview requests, contact the Bel Canto office at (414) 481-8801.