marion's blog

Modern technology applied to choir music

Contemporary American Composer Eric Whitacre, who won a Grammy earlier this year for his album Light and Gold, has also become famous in the virtual world for his "virtual choir performances." Whitacre has created an innovative performance style, creating one "choir" by combining audio and video recordings of individual singers. He starts by recording a video of himself conducting one of his compositions and calls on singers from across the globe to submit recordings of themselves singing their voice part.

Morten Lauridsen's Transcendent Music and Gentle Spirit

Last night I had the incredible opportunity to attend a special screening of the movie Shining Night: A Portrait of the Composer Morten Lauridsen, followed by a special Question and Answer session with Mr. Lauridsen and with the film’s director, Michael Stillwater.

The Super Bowl and Music

The Super Bowl this past Sunday was a big deal in New York, with our hometown Giants' big win. But the Super Bowl is now about so much more than just football: it's an excuse to get together with friends and eat lots of food, and it's a time for us to connect to pop culture. The halftime show and advertisements are often discussed more than the game itself! After all, it is the biggest media and advertising opportunity of the year, with companies spending huge sums of money and many hours to come up with the most inventive, creative advertisements.

New Repertoire

The New York City Master Chorale is now entering its sixth week of rehearsals of our new repertoire, in preparation for our April 26 concert at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center. This concert, titled "Water and Night" focuses on a series of pieces themed on water and night, and includes works by major contemporary composers including Steven Paulus, Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, and Moses Hogan. It is an exciting and engaging set of music. In addition, we will be premiering a piece written for the Chorale by Paul Leavitt, whose stunning Requiem we performed last year.

Festive holidays

Our concert last Friday was a wonderful experience. It was such a joy to perform our holiday concert with an orchestra, especially such a talented one. I heard from audience members that this felt like our most festive holiday concert ever; I attribute that to the choice of music and the bold, brass sound that we associate with the holidays. It was certainly festive music to perform!

Concert week!

Our holiday concert, MAGNIFICAT, will be held this Friday and I am so very excited. Last week we rehearsed with the orchestra - what a wonderful experience that was! The orchestra is full of very talented musicians and it was such a privilege to rehearse with them. One of our singers even said that he had to write a note in the margin of his music to remind himself to sing - and not just listen in awe of the beauty of the orchestra.

Tune in to Sirius 129 this Thursday evening!

This Thursday, between 7 and 10 pm (Eastern Standard Time), the New York City Master Chorale will perform on the Busted Halo Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Channel 129). Please tune in!


As Thanksgiving approaches, I like to take time to reflect on those things for which I am grateful. I am particularly grateful for the New York City Master Chorale and the many ways this chorus has enriched my life.

True Talent on "The Sing-Off"

Today is Monday and that means that my new favorite show, The Sing-Off, is on TV tonight. Now, I'm not much of a TV person and I'm certainly not into reality TV or competition shows, but I still love The Sing-Off! The Sing-Off is a competition series featuring 16 a cappella groups competing for a cash prize and record contract. Each week, the groups perform in hopes of making it on to the next round.

The iPod's tenth birthday!

This weekend, The New York Times ran an interview with Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist and author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, about the tenth anniversary of the release of the original iPod. In the article Happy Birthday iPod!, Levitin talks about how the iPod has changed how we experience music - everything from sound quality to sharing music. Yes, in the past ten years, the music industry has changed vastly.

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