This coming Sunday, Lux will record the piece once more, this time not from their homes, but at the University of Maryland's Gildenhorn Recital Hall, at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The recording will be featured alongside works by more students from UMD's composition studio.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for the young composers at the University of Maryland, and we couldn't be more excited to play a role in the project," said Lux's director, Robby Napoli. "We've been lucky enough to work with a handful of UMD composers in different capacities, and I can say that this isn't a release you'll want to miss. There's some very impressive work coming from these undergrad composers, and we'll no doubt be seeing more performances and recordings of their music after they graduate."
The project is being headed by UMD Professor Robert L. Gibson, thanks to the generous donations of an anonymous donor.
Congratulations on an amazing recital! Before we dig into that, let’s talk about some of your experience leading up to the junior recital milestone--what have been some of your favorite experiences studying music in college thus far?
I’ve had so many wonderful musical experiences in college that I can’t even begin to pick which ones are my favorite. There have certainly been a number of memorable performances that I could talk about, but I also really just enjoy going to my voice lessons each week. It’s always exciting when I have a breakthrough in a lesson that changes the way in which I sing something!
Besides your recital, what are you most excited about this year?
I’ve had a lot of great experiences this year despite the pandemic, but I’m honestly just ready for the school year to be over.
What's your favorite piece on your recital? Why?
My favorite pieces to work on were the Clara Schumann lieder. Because I can’t have a live accompanist at my lessons right now, I recorded my own accompaniments for these pieces, so it was really cool to learn them from both a vocal and pianistic standpoint.
If there’s only one thing you want audience members to get out of your recital, what would it be?
I don’t think there’s any one thing that I want people to get out of my recital. I just hope they get something out of it!
You got to prepare and perform this alongside a classmate of yours--tell us a bit about that experience and what it was like collaborating on a joint-recital!
Especially after not being able to sing in-person with others for so long, it was really, really exciting to collaborate with my friend Helen on this recital. The first time that we rehearsed our duets in person, I could barely make it through them because I was smiling so much. It was also just really nice to have someone else to lean on throughout the whole experience.
How was the recital process for you, overall? What did you have to do to prepare, and how do you feel about it all?
I was really scared that I wasn’t going to be able to memorize all of my music because memorization has never been a strength of mine. However, after working on my recital repertoire for more than a semester, I felt confident going into my recital that I knew the music as well as I possibly could have.
We are excited to announce that Lux Choir has been nominated for two Wammie Awards! Lux has received a nomination for Best Choral Group; and our Christmas album, My Lord Has Come, has received a nomination for Best Choral Album. To vote, you must create an account on the Wammie Awards website here. Voters must be residents of Maryland, DC, or Virginia to be considered eligible. After registering and confirming your email, you can go to the awards hub and vote for the artists or works nominated for each award. You can vote for as many nominees as you feel are deserving for each award; however, you may only vote once. To find and vote for Lux, you can search either by award or by group. Voting ends on January 31st, after which finalists will be announced for each award. Winners will then be selected from the groups of finalists by a panel of 50+ regional music industry professionals.
The Wammie Awards is a 32-year-old awards show curated by The MusicianShip, a DC-area organization dedicated to the enrichment of youth lives through music. The Wammie Awards aim to celebrate music creatives from DC, Maryland, and Virginia and highlight their work and their impact on the region. You can read more about the Wammie Awards by visiting their website here.
Although the program begins with ancient chant, Lux's love of contemporary choral music still shines through: The final chant programmed in the series is a newly-commissioned chant melody from Maryland-based composer Christen Holmes, and the culminating event of the series is the virtual world-premiere of the winning piece from their Composition Contest, which closes on December 12. Of the program, director Robby Napoli said, "I'm very excited about the novelty of the program, and I think it will be a welcome change from the virtual performances we've recently been inundated with. Most of all though, I'm excited that we've been able to tailor this season so perfectly to our mission, and I absolutely cannot wait to bring two brand new pieces to life."
The first release of the program, which is completely free to all, will be available on Lux's website beginning in early December. To learn more about Lux or buy their newest Christmas CD, visit their website at www.ChoirLux.com.
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