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Grammy-winning choir performs at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve

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Grammy Award-winning choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, announces the return of its annual summer festival of new music, “The Month of Moderns 2021,” co-presented with the Annenberg Center from June 3 to 19.

Each of the three outdoor programs will be performed with singers and audience spatially distanced using The Crossing’s Echoes Amplification Kits designed by in-house sound designer Paul Vazquez, which allow an intimate aural experience while observing pandemic-time protocols.

The Crossing will reprise its sold-out October 2020 run of “The Forest” at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve in Solebury Township from June 3 to 6; perform the world premiere of Matana Roberts’ “we got time.”, a work honoring the life of Breonna Taylor, presented in collaboration with Ars Nova Workshop at The Woodlands in West Philadelphia from June 11 to 13; and present the world premieres of “At which point” by Wang Lu and an expanded version of Ayanna Woods’ “Shift,” plus the U.S. premiere of David Lang’s “the sense of senses,” at Awbury Arboretum in Germantown on June 18 and 19. Tickets will go on sale May 11.

“The Forest” is The Crossing’s response to the limitations on group singing in the COVID-era, and runs at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4; at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 5; and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6.

In a time when choirs cannot sing and perform together in conventional ways, “The Forest” features the 24 singers of The Crossing performing along a ⅓ mile trail in Penn’s Woods at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, 1635 River Road, New Hope (Solebury Township), situated in the sounds and sights of the woods, while audience members walk, socially distanced, through the soundscape and landscape.

“The Forest” focuses on the symbiotic relationship between individual trees and the forest – a metaphor for the relationship between each singer and the ensemble. The libretto is formed from The Crossing singers’ reflections on their isolation during COVID-time, overlaid with texts from Scott Russell Sanders’ essay “Mind in the Forest.” The music was developed by conductor Donald Nally and assistant conductor Kevin Vondrak.

Each Echoes kit allows singers to stand and safely sing 30 feet from each other and from the audience while listeners walk along a well-worn, mostly flat path of approximately ⅓ mile lined with speakers.

The 20-minute experience attempts to reestablish currently broken relationships between singers and audience members, and tells The Crossing’s story – of a planet in crisis. Tickets are at crossingchoir.org/events/2021/mom1.


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