The Phoenix Chorale, led by artistic director Christopher Gabbitas, announced the first half of the 2020-21 season, “A Season of Hope,” which offers free virtual programming for fall 2020.
Plans for the chorale’s spring 2021 programs will be announced later this season.
“During these days when our community’s health and safety are paramount, gathering together to rehearse and perform choral music must necessarily take a back seat,” says Mr. Gabbitas. “And yet all of us miss it tremendously – whether it’s the fellowship we experience as we meet to prepare programs in rehearsal or the thrill we experience as we wait backstage to perform for our fans… We’ve heard how much they’re missing it too, so we’ve been working hard to create programs that offer hope and connect us all together through the healing and inspiring power of music.”
The Phoenix Chorale’s fall 2020 programs will be free to the public and hosted by Mr. Gabbitas, bringing the chorale’s concert experience directly into fans’ homes for the first time on a national scale. The free broadcasts offer highlights from recent concert programs including “Pathways of Devotion,” conducted by Mr. Gabbitas in 2019, and “A Chorale Christmas Special,” with highlights from the 2018 and 2019 holiday programs, conducted by Anton Armstrong and André J. Thomas.
“When we perform live, our audiences see the final product of months of planning and behind-the-scenes work. Creating broadcasts feels like producing a TV show, which is new for us, and it’s taken an incredible amount of teamwork. Our hope with these programs is to create connection through the music here in Arizona, across the country, and even around the world,” says Jen Rogers, Phoenix Chorale president and CEO. “That’s why we’re offering each program as a one-time event, encouraging friends and family to come together across time zones and experience the music the way we did back in the day before on-demand streaming — if you didn’t tune in when it aired, you missed out.”
New this season are “Chris Chats,” exclusive interviews featuring choral luminaries, composers and leaders in the choral field in conversation together. Hosted by Mr. Gabbitas, the first chat features English composers John Rutter and Bob Chilcott, followed by conductors Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Thomas, and more throughout the season.
“There is a true joy in choral music that few other experiences can match—whether you are taking part in the performance or listening to the results. I’m constantly struck by the heart that our singers bring to each and every note,” says Mr. Gabbitas. “We are so grateful to have such a loyal family of supporters across the Valley and beyond and these free programs are one way we are expressing our gratitude. We continue to prepare for what promises to be a triumphant return to live music—as soon as we are able!”
FALL 2020 PROGRAMS
Broadcast 1: Pathways of Devotion – 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24
The “Pathways of Devotion” program revisits highlights of Mr. Gabbitas’s first project with the chorale, from February 2019, which explored aspects of love, devotion and the faithfulness that draws individuals together as families and communities — no matter what life puts in the way. Music featured on this broadcast includes Bob Chilcott’s arrangement of "Mairi's Wedding," "Barbara Allen" by John Rutter, "The Road Home" by Stephen Paulus, "Only in Sleep" by Ēriks Ešenvalds, and more.
Broadcast 2: A Chorale Christmas Special – 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19
Hosted by Mr. Gabbitas, this special holiday broadcast brings together highlights from two memorable Christmas programs in 2018 and 2019, led by guest conductors Anton Armstrong and André J. Thomas. Musical highlights include “Glory, Glory, Glory to the Newborn King” by André Thomas, Rosephanye Powell’s “The Word Was God,” “Silent Night,” “The Christmas Song” and more.
“Chris Chats” with Choral Luminaries - Interview series
Launching this season are “Chris Chats,” hosted by Mr. Gabbitas and featuring choral luminaries, composers and leaders in the choral field in conversation together. The first of the “Chris Chats” series takes place 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19. Featured choral masters in this chat: English composer/conductors John Rutter and Bob Chilcott, whose music is included on the Oct. 24 broadcast. The second in the “Chris Chats” series is 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14. Featured choral masters include conductor Anton Armstrong and composer/conductor André J. Thomas, whose music will be included on the Dec. 19 broadcast.
The Phoenix Chorale’s fall 2020 season of broadcasts are free to the public with registration. To register for these free events, visit PhoenixChorale.org/Fall2020.
To support the Phoenix Chorale’s free broadcasts, visit PhoenixChorale.org/Donate and make a gift today. To learn more about sponsoring one of these online programs, Call 602-253-2224.