Volti is the kind of choir i always hoped existed but until now had never encountered. a group of extremely smart musicians, dedicated exclusively to new music, in search of genuinely new compositional voices. they program some daring (not to mention difficult) repertoire, and the singers themselves are proud of their work and their unique place in the music community here. as someone who grew up in a choir and has a deep connection to choral music, it’s unfortunate that so much choral music in this country conforms to expectations without a fight, fails to challenge thinking musicians and thinking audiences, and is generally so… bland.
the musicians of Volti clearly reject this state of affairs and actively work against it. rehearsing with them, and with their excellent conductor Robert Geary, has been a pleasure - they’ve been full of questions and are eager to enrich their understanding of my piece and the ideas it should convey. and, you know, Volti could teach something not just to the many choirs across the country who could stand to take more risks with their programming, but also to the vocal ensembles in urban centers whose musicians may be super talented technically, but somewhere along the line have lost a meaningful appreciation for the communal benefits of singing in a choir - or even for the very purpose of making music with your fellow human beings to begin with. because Volti does it for love, and in music, that’s really the only thing that matters.
Ted's extraordinary new work "Privilege" premieres tonight, along with music by Robin Estrada and Don Crockett, plus a guest appearance by one of the deans of American choral music, Morten Lauridsen. Please come -- tickets here.