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Author: Kirk Naylor

Modern Classics: John Rutter’s Mass of the Children

Modern Classics: John Rutter’s Mass of the Children

English composer John Rutter has been a mainstay of the choral music world for nearly four decades, and in that time he has explored the genre thoroughly. Rutter’s work continually challenges choral conventions while remaining joyous and accessible, and his Mass of the Children is no exception. Like many of his compositions, it evokes traditional forms and modern harmonies at once, creating a piece that is rich and compelling. A Choral Work for All Ages As a young boy, Rutter…

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Modern Classics: Éric Champagne’s Te Deum

Modern Classics: Éric Champagne’s Te Deum

In the classical music world, we often neglect the modern in favor of the past. For example, most people can recognize Beethoven or Mozart, but the nearer to the present, the lesser known the composer. In our blog series, Modern Classics, we highlight the best modern works from living composers — this week we are turning our attention to composer Éric Champagne, whose Te Deum, which will be performed in Carnegie Hall on June 5 as part of MidAmerica Productions’…

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What’s the Difference Between Singing Opera and Musical Theater?

What’s the Difference Between Singing Opera and Musical Theater?

It’s a known fact that Opera and Musical Theater are very different (think Wagner’s ring cycle on the one hand and Guys and Dolls on the other), but what are the differences in singing style between the two? We did a little research — here’s what we found: It Ain’t Over Until the Virtuosic Lady Sings The first thing that sets operatic singing apart from musical theater is the actual composition of the music itself. Typically, operas have longer phrases…

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Five Classical Works for Memorial Day

Five Classical Works for Memorial Day

The Memorial Day holiday is a time for quiet reflection in remembrance  of those who have given their lives to protect American ideals of freedom and justice. This Memorial Day we invite you to listen to these five classical works, each of which is inspired by the sacrifices made by Americans throughout history: 1. Charles Ives – Variations on “America” Using the theme from the early American anthem, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” Ives composed Variations on “America” in 1891…

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Modern Classics: Michael Trotta’s Seven Last Words

Modern Classics: Michael Trotta’s Seven Last Words

Michael John Trotta is an award-winning composer of choral music whose latest work, Seven Last Words, will be given its NY premiere in Carnegie Hall on May 27, 2017 as part of MidAmerica Productions’ 34th concert season. This will be the first time that Trotta will conduct his own composition in a MidAmerica Productions Carnegie Hall concert. We spoke with him to learn more about the piece and how he approaches his compositions. Trotta was interviewed by MidAmerica Productions’ Social…

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5 Classical Works Perfect for Mother’s Day

5 Classical Works Perfect for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is the time of year when we celebrate the women who gave each of us the gift of life. For most of us, that means picking up her favorite flowers or another thoughtful gift; however, composers can do one better. That’s why we’ve gathered five works of classical music written for or inspired by the composers’ mothers: 1. Dvořák – “Songs My Mother Taught Me” Written in 1880, “Songs My Mother Taught Me” is the fourth of seven…

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How to Get the Most Out of Fundraising Events

How to Get the Most Out of Fundraising Events

Last week we shared our top five fundraising ideas for traveling with your orchestra, band, or choir. This week, we’re digging a little deeper into one of the ideas we mentioned: fundraising events. For first time fundraisers, hosting an event can be intimidating, but even fundraising veterans can struggle with large-scale functions. With that in mind, read on for our guide to getting the most out of your fundraising events: Step 1: Planning and Promotion The best way to set…

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How Orff’s Carmina Burana Became Classical Music’s Greatest Hit

How Orff’s Carmina Burana Became Classical Music’s Greatest Hit

Orff’s Carmina Burana will be performed in Carnegie Hall on May 27 – Purchase Tickets – – Learn More – Even if you don’t know it by name, you’ve probably heard Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at least once in your life. Although it achieved significant renown as a concert work during the composer’s lifetime, the piece gained a second life through its use in film, television, and advertisements. Despite its continuing popularity, Orff’s seminal work had humble beginnings. Orff’s Carmina…

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Quiz: Which Beethoven Symphony is Your Favorite?

Quiz: Which Beethoven Symphony is Your Favorite?

His compositions are some of the most famous works in the classical canon. All nine of Beethoven’s symphonies have stood the test of time, and continue to receive regular performances. Some are more well-known than others, but each musician has their personal favorite — which is yours?

How Perfect Pitch Works

How Perfect Pitch Works

Perfect pitch is the ability to identify or produce a given pitch without a prompt from an instrument. For a musician, the benefits of perfect pitch are clear: it can help with intonation, memorization, and in a number of other ways which can augment your musical ability. Although many people have met someone with perfect pitch, it is extremely rare — affecting only one in 10,000 people. Finding out if a person has perfect pitch is as easy as playing…

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