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James Bagwell Leads The Collegiate Chorale

The Collegiate Chorale, led by Maestro James Bagwell in his inaugural concert as The Chorale’s newly appointed Music Director, presents “A Jubilant Song,” a celebration of the organization’s remarkable history, on Dec. 1 at 7pm at Carnegie Hall. As the new Music Director, Bagwell will give tribute to his predecessors and usher in a new era of The Collegiate Chorale. Tony Award winner Roger Rees will host the evening.

The concert will feature Salvatore Licitra, tenor (who debuted at Carnegie Hall with The Collegiate Chorale in 2003 in Verdi’s La forza del destino); Jenny Lin, piano; Erin Morley, soprano; Emily Pulley, soprano; Anita Johnson, soprano; Krysty Swann, mizzo-soprano; Vale Rideout, tenor; Robert Mack, tenor; Daniel Mobbs, bass-baritone; Kalif Omari Jones, boy soprano; and the American Symphony Orchestra.

A benefit dinner with Bagwell and the artists at Carnegie Hall’s Rohatyn Room will follow the concert.

“Before coming on board with The Chorale, one of the things which attracted me the most was its rich history of musical and programming diversity, going all the way back to the ideals of founder Robert Shaw and continuing steadily through the tenures of all subsequent Music Directors, particularly the late Robert Bass – and so I wanted this first concert under my baton to capture the essence of that diversity,” said Bagwell.

“We will perform works from Gabrieli to Dello Joio and from Kopylov to Bernstein and Lerner. The programming will include Verdi and Meyerbeer arias, the beloved Beethoven Choral Fantasy, a couple of exquisite a cappella choral pieces, and musical theater excerpts from Bernstein and Lerner’s A White House Cantata,” he said.

“Many of the works we will perform hearken back to earlier concerts, including the Kopylov Heavenly Light, which was on The Chorale’s very first public program in 1942,” Bagwell added.

The Collegiate Chorale, among New York’s foremost vocal ensembles, has added to the richness of the city’s cultural fabric for more than 65 years. Founded in 1941 by the legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale achieved national and international prominence under the leadership of Robert Bass.

James Bagwell maintains an active schedule throughout the United States as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He has recently been named Principal Guest Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York. Since 2003 he has been Director of Choruses for the Bard Music Festival, conducting and preparing choral works during the summer festival at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.

He has also prepared The Concert Chorale of New York for performances with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Mostly Mozart Festival (broadcast nationally in 2006 on Live from Lincoln Center), all in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

In 2005 he was named Music Director of The Dessoff Choirs in New York, who under his leadership have made numerous appearances at Carnegie Hall in addition to their regular season. In 2009 the Dessoff Symphonic Choir appeared with the New York Philharmonic performing both Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and Britten’s War Requiem for Lorin Maazel’s final concerts as Music Director.

THE COLLEGIATE CHORALE
Presents A Gala Concert
Dec. 1, 2009, 7pm at Carnegie Hall
Tickets: $25-$125
CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800,
Carnegie Hall Box Office,
Online at Carnegiehall.
For more info: CollegiateChorale.

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