August 18, 2016
Greetings to All:
In keeping with tradition, I invite you to read this annual LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR! I am looking forward to my fourteenth season with the Chorale Midwest organization. This season, entitled The Twentieth Anniversary of Voices, will be centered on our milestone anniversary. Various activities are being planned to highlight the past, present, and the future of our thriving organization. Chorale Midwest member and president of the organization, Tracy McPartland, recently commented, “the Chorale Midwest ensembles have never sounded better,” and as the artistic director, I am thrilled and humbled when I hear comments like this one.
Once again, our main concerts this season will be held in the wonderful acoustic of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. All three of the mainstage performances will feature the Chorale Midwest, Chorale Midwest Chamber Singers, Pro Musica Women’s Ensemble, and our newest group, the Chorale Midwest Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Our first mainstage performance, Voices from Around the World, is set for October 23 and 24, 2016, and will feature choral selections from Latvia, England, Argentina, Philippines, Canada, India, Czech Republic, and other places around the world. Holiday Voices, our ever-popular Christmas Concert, is set for December 4 and 5, 2016. Our Spring Performance, Voices from Heaven and Earth, is set for April 2 and 3, 2017, and will feature selections from all stylistic periods of musical composition.
Last year, we debuted a three-concert Spotlight Series, and this series is making a return in the 2016-17 season. The Series concerts will be held in the sanctuary of St. Ludmila Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The first performance, A Patriotic Event to Honor our Country, is set for November 5, 2016 and will feature selections celebrating our American culture. The second concert in the series, mezzo-soprano voices from my private voice studio will be featured in A Mezzo Soprano Celebration, set for March 13, 2017. They will perform solo works from some of the greatest operatic and art songs of the ages. Like last year, the final concert, scheduled for May 6, 2017, will feature the Chorale Midwest Vocal Jazz Ensemble. This ensemble, in only its second year, will perform great vocal jazz standards, and new compositions of the genre.
It seems with each year, our Annual Fundraising Broadway Gala becomes increasingly more popular. On February 3 and 4, 2017, the Gala returns to the Scottish Rite Temple, located in downtown Cedar Rapids. This year will be another celebration of choral numbers, small ensembles, and solos from the great musical theatre stage. The Gala committee and I will be working diligently to provide an event that will prove enjoyable for audiences of all ages.
Last, but certainly not least, Chorale Midwest will be in collaboration with Orchestra Iowa to present one of the greatest major choral works of all times, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in b minor. This incredible event is set for June 3 and 4, 2017.
I am so proud of this organization and am honored, humbled, and grateful to be able to make music with this dedicated community of musicians. With this year’s roster nearly complete, I am excited to begin the thrilling task of preparing and presenting great choral works that should inspire and excite both audiences and each one of you, the members of Chorale Midwest.
Bradley T. Barrett
Artistic Director, Chorale Midwest