News In Brief 5/10/04



So long, farewell… Dale Warland Singers bid adieu

The day is quickly approaching when the music community will be saying farewell to Dave Warland and his award-winning a cappella choral ensemble, the Dale Warland Singers. After 31 years of commissions and concerts, the ensemble will give their last performance May 30 in Minneapolis.

I Have Had Singing – A Choral Celebration! will survey the broad spectrum of works DWS has performed over the years including a reprise of Dominick Argento’s Walden Pond, selections from Rachmaninoff’s Vespers and one of Dale Warland’s programming specialties, An Eclectic Mass, a collection of movements from the traditional mass written by a variety of composers.

Warland, music director since 1972, announced he would be stepping down last year. He plans to spend more time to teaching, guest conducting, recording, and composing.

The ensemble is probably most noted for its impact on new choral music repertoire through the commission of 240 works from composers such as Dominick Argento, Stephen Paulus, Libby Larsen, Carol Barnett, Aaron Jay Kernis, Brent Michael Davids, Mary Ellen Childs, Augusta Read Thomas, Janika Vandervelde, George Shearing, Peter Schickele, Bernard Rands, Emma Lou Diemer, Alice Parker, and Frank Ferko.

The ensemble’s library of 20th century choral music holds more than 1,000 titles. It also includes hundreds of live concert recordings many of which are world premiere performances. The organization hopes to have the library catalogued and housed for public access.

2002 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has released a detailed report concerning the 2002 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. The survey measures participation in arts activities through attendance at live events, consumption of arts-related media, and personal participation in various art forms—including attendance at live events and at-home listening to classical, jazz, opera, and musical theater. The also includes demographic information of participation broken down by sex, race, age, income, and education level. Arts attendance was up in general, and rose with age, education level, and income.

Included among the many statistics and accompanying analysis offered (downloadable for free here), the extensive report also outlines the number of adults surveyed creating art. Composing music is up from 3.9 million in 1992, to a reported 4.7 million in 2002.

What’s in a name

The American Composers Forum Boston has changed its name to American Composers Forum New England. The change, according to the ACF, reflects the wider region the organization serves.

In addition, two composers have been chosen to participate, beginning in May, in ACF New England’s new Composer Residency, a collaboration with the newly formed New England Orchestra Consortium. Both composers will write a work for chamber orchestra or full symphony, to be premiered by multiple orchestras during the 2005-06 season. David Kechley, composer and chair of the music department at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., has been chosen for the full symphony category. Boston composer and Berklee College of Music professor Michael Weinstein was selected for the chamber music category.