I met Nancianne when my grandmother, who also lived at Deupree House, invited us both to dine together. Though I was just humoring my grandmother, I discovered over soft buttered beets that Nancianne was the real deal. We discussed Shaw, and Brahms, and her work at Westminster Choir College.
Our friendship took flight over the next year or so through several coffees and one short-notice performance of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater which I asked her to play. That was the first of several times that I was lucky enough to work with her.
In that same year, she called me and asked if I wanted to attend a concert of a group she hadn’t yet heard since she had moved to town, and, since she had recently hurt her arm, I offered to pick her up and drive her, and we would have dinner after the concert. She was in a good deal of pain, but hadn’t taken her medication so that she would be alert for the program.
The concert left quite a lot to be desired, and Nancianne leaned over to me in the middle and said, “I should have taken my Percocet” quite loud enough for several rows of patrons to hear. She was most definitely not referring to the pain in her arm!
Nancianne had the unusual quality that she could be both a friend and a mentor at the same time. After any concert that I would give, she would congratulate me on the performance and then say, “I made some notes for you. Let me know when you would like them.” Not able to stand waiting days for the list, I would inevitably ask her to share her thoughts right there and then. No musician takes criticism well, but she had a way of delivering her thoughts that both lifted you up and gave you a few things to think about for next time. Knowing the giants of the industry with whom she had worked in her lifetime, compliments from her came with added importance, even as they flowed freely.
Nancianne defined what it means to be a collaborative musician. She had a lot to say about the art of accompanying, particularly in choral rehearsals. She also had a lot of stories to tell about her time working in the field with some of the world’s most prominent conductors. Conductors loved working with her. If I had to venture a guess as to why, it would be that she not only came impeccably prepared, but that she played the piano like it was an orchestra. She knew each detail of any score she was working on, and was learning right up until the end. She embodied the idea that music is a lifelong pursuit, and actively sought out opportunities to hear new performances and support the work of her colleagues, even those many years her junior.
A mutual friend gave us the idea that we should write a book together about her life in the field of music. From having Duruflé over for dinner, to spending much of her career working with Joseph Flummerfelt, to her many times on stage with the New York Philharmonic, she was a wealth of stories. The book was to be called, “You Can’t Just Play,” which was her mantra for teaching and coaching others in her field.
She called me last Tuesday to let me know she wouldn’t be able to be at the board meeting of Collegium Cincinnati. We planned to get together next week after I returned from my choir tour to New York to discuss the book. I am devastated that I won’t have the chance to hear any more stories from her.
When I visited her in the hospital last night, I also reminded her that she had promised to play several times on this year’s Collegium season. I know that if she could have, she would have.
Nancianne lived brilliantly all the way up until the last minute. Her loss is felt deeply by all who knew her, but I, for one, am grateful for the short time we did have together.
June 3, 2019
May 8, 2019
For immediate release
SUMMERSING RETURNS WITH NOTABLE GUEST CONDUCTORS
Megan Boyd & Michael Ciavaglia will lead the 2019 SummerSing at Christ Church Cathedral
Faces new to the Collegium – but not new to Cincinnati – will lead Collegium Cincinnati’s fourth annual SummerSing, a choral festival that invites singers from all over the region to perform masterworks with a professional orchestra and soloists, and to build connections within the city through social events and networking opportunities.
Dr. Megan Boyd, director of choral activities at Xavier University, will lead a chamber choir of up to 24 singers in a program entitled, "From Her Perspective," a program with texts by and about powerful and influential women. Join this powerful and influential woman as she makes her Collegium Cincinnati debut with this stunning program.
Dr. Michael Ciavaglia is music director-designate of the Asheville Lyric Opera, and has served on the music staff of Cincinnati Opera. He’s a graduate of the College-Conservatory of Music at U.C. He will lead the SummerSing Masterworks Choir in Vivaldi’s GLORIA and John Rutter’s REQUIEM.
Rehearsals and performances take place at Christ Church Cathedral, where Collegium Cincinnati is ensemble-in-residence.
Collegium Cincinnati’s SummerSing aims to serve as a cornerstone cultural event for the region; already, singers have come from as far afield as New York and New England to participate.
“Choral music is our nation’s most participatory art form,” says Collegium’s artistic director Christopher Eanes. “Through the SummerSing, we hope to connect people with each other and with the city, and give them an opportunity to participate in music in a low-stress and fun environment.”
Previous seasons have included performances of Baroque music, Faure’s, Mozart’s and Brahms’ REQUIEMS, and Morten Lauridsen’s LUX AETERNA.
Interested singers should visit www.collegiumcincinnati.org/summersing2019 for more information on how to register. All ages are welcome, though singers under 13 need to be accompanied by an adult. No audition is necessary for the Masterworks Choir.
SummerSing Chamber Choir
Dr. Megan Boyd, Conductor
July 18-21, 2019
SummerSing Masterworks Choir
Dr. Michael Ciavaglia, Conductor
July 21-27, 2019
(513) 428-BACH (2224)
ABOUT COLLEGIUM CINCINNATI
Founded in 2011 by Christopher Eanes and violinist Manami White, the Collegium has grown to become one of Cincinnati’s most vibrant professional arts organizations. With a multi-faceted season that includes major choral-orchestra works, chamber music, and participatory events, the Collegium strives to connect people to each other through the shared experience of music.
Recent and upcoming projects include Bach’s MASS IN B MINOR, Soprano Alex Schoeny in recital, and a complete broadcast of Handel’s MESSIAH on Classical 90.9 WGUC. The 2019-2020 season will include a reconstruction of a twelfth-century sacred play as well as Mozart’s unfinished MASS IN C MINOR.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dr. Megan Boyd has experience teaching choral music at all levels, elementary through university and in the community sector. She currently serves as the Director of Choral Activities at Xavier University leading the Concert Choir, Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble, and choral music education program. In addition to her work at Xavier, Dr. Boyd is the Associate Director of the Young Professionals Choral Collective of Cincinnati and a member of the professional women’s chorus mirabai.
Dr. Boyd holds a B.M. in music education and voice performance from Boston University where she studied with leading Boston tenor, Frank Kelley. She also earned an M.M. and D.M.A. in choral conducting from Michigan State University studying under Drs. David Rayl, Sandra Snow, and Jonathan Reed. During her time there, Dr. Boyd conducted the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall and in their appearance at the 2014 American Choral Directors Association Central Division Conference. As a middle school and high school educator, Dr. Boyd’s ensembles consistently earned Superior Ratings at the NC Music Performance Adjudication, an invitation to perform at the 2009 NC Governor's Inauguration, and a solo performance at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Dr. Boyd also serves as an adjudicator and clinician in Michigan and Ohio and has been published in the Choral Journal. Her professional affiliations include ACDA, Chorus America, and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.
Dr. Boyd currently resides just north of Cincinnati with her husband and two children.
Michael A. Ciavaglia, DMA, is a conductor and teacher active in the fields of choral performance, opera and higher education. In addition to his work with NYCHORAL, Dr. Ciavaglia is on the music staff at the Cincinnati Opera in Ohio, where he is in residence each summer. This season he conducted The Elixir of Love at the Asheville Lyric Opera, where he is Music Director designate. He is on the faculty of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut, where he teaches music history and voice. He has conducted the Fairfield University Glee Club and Chamber Singers throughout the Northeast and in Europe.
Dr. Ciavaglia has taught and conducted at Mars Hill University and at Northern Kentucky University, and has prepared choruses for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Richard Tucker Memorial Gala, and numerous performances with superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli. He has sung with professional vocal ensembles including the Windrush Ensemble (Ohio), the Cincinnati Bach Ensemble and Archangel Voices (Connecticut). He is an active proponent of Russian Orthodox choral music in liturgical and concert performance, and a coach of Church Slavonic and Russian diction.
Dr. Ciavaglia’s culminating doctoral document, The Choral Music of Robert De Cormier (2013), included the first complete catalogue of Robert De Cormier’s published choral compositions and arrangements. He is an alumnus of the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University and of the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
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For the first time, in July 2018 we will be launching our inaugural SummerSing Chamber Choir, under the direction of Christopher Shepard.
Who is this guy, you ask?
Well, for one, he's a conductor who is sought-after around the world, specializing in the music of the Baroque, and especially that of Bach. Also, you may remember that he performed with the Collegium on our very first season!
Chris directs the professional choir CONCORA: Connecticut's Choral Artists, The Worcester Chorus in Massachussetts, and The Masterworks Chorus in New Jersey.
Most importantly, though, he's going to be YOUR conductor during the 2018 SummerSing Chamber Choir! So, if you haven't signed up yet for this experience - or for the SummerSing MasterWorks Chorus, do so now! Spaces are filling up quickly. Don't miss this opportunity to sing Baroque music with a master interpreter and teacher.
In case you missed it, here is the information about this year's SummerSing.
Collegium Cincinnati presents
Passion. Heat. Music.
Voices come alive during the most exciting music-making week of the summer! Collegium Cincinnati invites singers of all ages and abilities to join in putting together masterworks of choral repertoire.
What: A one-week choral festival for young and old.
Who: The musicians of Collegium Cincinnati, a surprise cast of guest soloists, and YOU!
When: July 19-28, 2018
Where: Christ Church Cathedral | 318 East Fourth Street Cincinnati, OH 45202
Gabriel Fauré – REQUIEM
Morten Lauridsen – LUX AETERNA
Chamber Choir repertoire to be announced.
Collegium Cincinnati is pleased to invite you to join us for SummerSing – Cincinnati’s hottest participatory choral festival. Cincinnati has a long and rich history of choral singing; at SummerSing, singers from all over the country unite for a week of rehearsals and social fun that culminates in electric performances of great choral repertoire.
In addition to making great music together, we make new friends! Food and drink after rehearsals and concerts are as important … well almost … as the singing.
Singers have the opportunity to perform with the instrumentalists of Collegium Cincinnati and will be offered the opportunity to take private voice lessons, improve their singer’s diction, and, most importantly, have fun!
THE MASTERWORKS CHOIR
Under the direction of the Collegium’s artistic director Christopher Eanes, the MasterWorks Choir will tackle the unmatched REQUIEM by Gabriel Fauré and the new classic LUX AETERNA by Morten Lauridsen. This program of light and transcendence is every choral singer’s dream!
Dates: July 22-28
THE CHAMBER CHOIR (Inaugural Season)
This year, for the first time, we will also be offering a Chamber Choir experience. Under the direction of guest conductor Christopher Shepard, this auditioned experience will offer 16-24 advanced singers the opportunity to prepare a program of finely crafted a cappella and accompanied works in an intimate setting.
Christopher Shepard is the conductor of CONCORA: Connecticut’s professional chorus, the Worcester Chorus, and the Masterwork Chorus of New Jersey. Most recently, he conducted a sold-out performance of Handel’s MESSIAH at Carnegie Hall. Chris is an engaging conductor with a distinguished career director both professional and avocational ensembles.
Dates: July 19-22
Fourteen of Cincinnati's finest singers will take the stage on Sunday for Collegium Cincinnati's performance of Handel's MESSIAH. Get to know these wonderful voices before the concert!
Lovers of Baroque music often fall into the “Bach camp” or the “Handel camp”, though it is certainly possible to love both equally—something not quite so easy with other more oppositional composers like Wagner and Brahms. After all, Bach and Handel did share the instantly recognizable musical language of the high Baroque. In fact, part of what is so attractive about the music of both Handel and Bach is that they both effortlessly blended the sunny Italian sense of melody and harmonic clarity with the more sober counterpoint of the German school, seasoned with a soupçon of French rococo ornamentation.
Although their music is generally very similar, I like to think that what differentiates them is related to the ways in which their lives diverged from one another. In a consequence of almost mythical significance, these two giants of western music were born within one month of one another in 1685—Handel on February 23rd and Bach on March 21st, in towns about 80 miles apart. They both served as church musicians and worked in royal courts; but whereas Handel travelled extensively, coming of “musical age” in Italy in his early 20’s, Bach remained in his native central-eastern region of Germany his entire life. He was by no means cut off from musical life, however: many musicians made the pilgrimage to Leipzig to meet Bach, and he was deeply influenced by Italian composers, most notably Vivaldi. Both Handel and Bach were friends with Georg Philipp Telemann, who is less well-known today, but was one of the most prolific composers of the Baroque. (In fact, Telemann had been the first choice for the job eventually awarded to Bach in Leipzig.)
One of the quickest ways to differentiate Bach and Handel is to describe Bach as church composer and Handel as an opera composer. On the face of it, this tidy construction is largely correct: Bach spent the last 27 years of his life as Music Director of Leipzig’s churches, and Handel was for many years a successful operatic composer and producer, and he only turned to oratorio to recover his massive financial losses from producing operas.
But the full story is more complex. In addition to his famous English-language oratorios dealing with biblical texts, Handel wrote a great deal of church music. There are the many works written in English during his service to the English crown, such as the Coronotaion Anthems, as well as the Chandos Anthems, written for the Duke of Chandos. But he also wrote a number of German cantatas (the genre with which Bach’s name would be forever linked), as well as Latin settings from his years in Rome, most notably the extraordinary, Italianate Dixit Dominus. Bach and Handel are musically linked by a German passion libretto by Barthold Brockes. Handel used the libretto for his Brockes-Passion; Bach would draw from the same text for his own St John Passion.
It is certainly true that Bach did not write any operas, a point about which many musicologists have speculated over the years. The reason for this is probably due to the circumstances in which Bach found himself—none of the courts in which he worked produced operas, and by the time he arrived in Leipzig, the local opera company had folded. Nearby Dresden had an important opera company, and it is reasonable to think that Bach might have written for them had he so intended. He did write some quasi-operatic dramatic secular cantatas, but this is the closest he came to explicit operas. In an odd twist, however, Bach was criticized by church authorities in Leipzig for bringing opera-like characteristics to his cantatas, with their high sense of emotion and drama. Certainly, lovers of Bach’s choral music believe that his two Passion settings give us a glimpse into the kind of genius that he would have brought to opera composition.
The oddest coincidence linking Bach and Handel, who never met (despite two attempts by Bach to meet Handel) is also the most tragic. Both composers developed cataracts in late middle age, leading them both to turn to the English eye surgeon, John Taylor. A shameless self-promoter and almost certainly a charlatan, Taylor was the eye surgeon to King George II, and he also travelled through Europe performing surgery. On a tour through Leipzig in 1749, he operated on Bach, without success. Many people believe that the strenuous operation, which weakened the composer, led to his death in 1750. Handel also submitted to Taylor’s knife, to no avail: after his 1751, he spent the final years of his life in near-complete blindness.
We're pleased to announce the following twelve outstanding vocalists that will be performing as a part of this weekend's Leipzig's Got Talent concert; click on each of their pictures to read more, and don't forget to get your tickets now!
Find Mystery & Mayhem in Collegium’s Fourth CINCINNATI BACH FESTIVAL
What: Collegium Cincinnati presents the Fourth Cincinnati Bach Festival, creating incredible musical performances in intimate and fun settings.
Who: Collegium Cincinnati, with special guests from the Young Professionals Choral Collective and more. Collegium Cincinnati is a project-based ensemble specializing in choral-orchestra music of the baroque, led by Christopher Eanes.
When: Events throughout October
Where: The Härth Room, Christ Church Cathedral, More
Collegium Cincinnati’s Fourth Cincinnati Bach Festival is one of electric mystery, madmen, and a little bit of mayhem! From Biber’s Mystery Sonatas to the mayhem surrounding Bach’s job audition at Leipzig, we’re going to dazzle you with music that will keep you guessing and light up the concert hall. The musicians of Collegium Cincinnati cordially invite you to join us for a magical season!
Mozart's Requiem is perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of choral-orchestral music, especially since it was featured as a plot point in the 1984 movie Amadeus. Mozart died before he could finish the work, leaving his student - and many others since - to complete the masterpiece.
The program will open with two short concert arias sung by our stellar soloists for the evening, Andrew Jones & Alexandra Schoeny!
The Requiem will be sung by the SummerSing 2016 Chorus.
Misero! O sogno, o son desto? K. 431
Andrew Jones, Tenor
Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio K. 418
Alexandra Schoeny, Soprano
Requiem in d minor K. 626
Alexandra Schoeny, Soprano
Melisa Bonetti, Mezzo-Soprano
Andrew Jones, Tenor
Tyler Alessi, Baritone
SummerSing 2016 Chorus
Christopher Eanes, Conductor
Saturday, July 30 | 7:00 pm
Christ Church Cathedral
318 East Fourth Street | Cincinnati, OH 45202
Tickets: $20 Adult General Admission, $17 for Students/Seniors
April 5, 2016
For Immediate Release
SUMMERSING 2016 INVITES ALL SINGERS TO PERFORM MOZART’S REQUIEM
What: A one-week choral festival, in which participants from around the city are invited to sing in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem.
Who: The musicians of Collegium Cincinnati, a surprise cast of guests soloists, and YOU!
When: July 24-30, 2016
Where: Christ Church Cathedral | 318 East Fourth Street Cincinnati, OH 45202
Collegium Cincinnati is excited to announce the establishment of an annual summer choral festival where the star is YOU! Cincinnati has a long and rich history of choral singing; at SummerSing, singers from all over the region are invited to join together for a week of rehearsals and social activities that will culminate in a performance of Mozart’s iconic Requiem. Singers will have the opportunity to perform the work with the musicians of Collegium Cincinnati, under the direction of Artistic Director Christopher Eanes.
The mission of the SummerSing is to bring together choristers of all backgrounds to build connections with each other through great musical performances. SummerSing is a celebration of all the many singers that participate in other choirs during the year, or who are looking for a one-time event to round out the summer season.
SummerSing 2016 will be hosted at Christ Church Cathedral, where Collegium Cincinnati serves as Ensemble-In-Residence. Interested singers should visit the Collegium Cincinnati website for more information.
The Requiem was commissioned anonymously and Mozart died before he finished it. His student Franz Süssmayr finished the work, and it has remained a staple in the choral-orchestral repertoire for its fire, its depth, and its beauty. The work was an integral part of the plot of the 1984 film Amadeus, though the story was largely fabricated.
Collegium Cincinnati, founded in 2011, is committed to world-class performances of choral-orchestral masterpieces that engage people to listen, learn, and love. In addition to hosting the Cincinnati Bach Festival every October, the Collegium also presents a full season of exciting musical events. More information can be found at: www.collegiumcincinnati.org.
For More Information & Press Inquiries:
Christopher Eanes, Artistic Director
(513) 428-BACH (2224)
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