Join The Crossing on a Musical Journey
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Join The Crossing on a Musical Journey

Posted June 6th, 2018

Coming up in the 2018 Fringe Festival is Of Arms and the Man, a performance by Grammy-winning choir The Crossing. The show will explore ideas of life during war and the alliances and enemies that can be formed across national borders. It is a discussion through music about life, death, and purpose.

Before presenting this new work at Fringe, The Crossing will kick off the summer for the ninth year in a row with The Month of Moderns, a festival of new music led by conductor Donald Nally. The festival’s theme this year, life journeys, arises from the need to look inward, to reflect, examine one’s own life, and speak out on the current political environment.

Donald Nally. Photo by Becky Oehlers Photography.

“When I was a child, I was fascinated by how sad cows’ eyes seemed. I wondered if they were lonely,” says Nally on his inspiration for this year’s festival. “I no longer wonder that; they are animals, like us, and of course they are. I thought we might make a season about that.”

The Crossing, a world-renowned vocal ensemble, sings new music that reflects the values of our time and the issues facing the modern world. Every year, the choir unveils world premieres and performs music unlike anything the audience has heard before. Working with new pieces allows the members of The Crossing to explore the music and to freely interpret the notes and lyrics, creating a truly unique experience for both performers and audience members.

The Crossing. Photo by Becky Oehlers Photography.

We sing about topics that are very immediate – that concern us right now,” says Nally. According to the esteemed director, the immersive quality of The Crossing’s performances and their strong focus on contemporary issues allows the audience to “come with an expectation that we’re going to attempt to make some sense out of the chaos, maybe bring a little clarity to the confusing emotions of life.”

Nally uses the work of new composers to give light to untold narratives, using the voices of the twenty-four singers to universalize deeply personal stories. For the festival, Nally takes the stories presented to him and makes a larger arc: “the journey of a life or of an event, heard in a concert or, in this case, our choral recital.”

The festival will take place over three weekends with performances at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. The first concert, titled a house, will take place this Saturday, June 9. It will feature compositions by David Lang, Alex Berko, Pēteris Vasks, as well as a world premiere by Brooklyn-based composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone. The following performances, Voyages and The Arc in the Sky, will each debut brand new music, and after each concert, audience members will have the opportunity to meet with composers and singers at an outdoor reception, allowing them to engage with the themes of the music.

Check out The Crossing’s performances and discover for yourself the twists and turns of the journey through life.

—Alyssa Kerper

What: The Month of Moderns
When: June 9, 17, 30
Where: Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
Cost: $20 – $35
World Premieres by Ellis Ludwig-Leone, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, and Kile Smith
crossingchoir.org/monthofmoderns

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