Grace Chorale de Brooklyn in collaboration with Vertical Player Repertory presents THE CONSTITUTION, A SECULAR ORATORIO

Brooklyn’s Grace Chorale (Jason Asbury, Musical Director), in collaboration with Vertical Player Repertory (Judith Barnes, Artistic Director), presents the live premiere of Benjamin Yarmolinsky’s The Constitution, a Secular Oratorio, a musical performance of the seminal works of our nation document, accompanied by chamber orchestra on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 3 p.m. at St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights, NYC.

Tickets are $15 for students and seniors, $25 for general admission, with the option of a special $45 donation to celebrate Grace Chorale of Brooklyn’s 45th anniversary, and can be purchased on eventbrite .com/e/the-constitution-a-secular-oratorio-tickets-319185090197. See an excerpt: https://youtu.be/82b-EEFijSg

Apart from the Declaration of Independence, no text embodies American ideals as much as the Constitution. Recognizing the Constitution’s embodiment of 18th-century values ​​and language, composer Ben Yarmolinsky chose a corresponding 18th-century musical style, the Handelian oratorio, as a model for his setting of The Constitution. The work includes choruses, arias and recitatives, similar to The Messiah, but with a recognizable American sound that combines rhythms of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, as well as Handelian flourishes to give voice to the words of the Constitution in a clear, vigorous tone, and a very melodious style. People might leave the performances humming an amendment or two!

Benjamin Yarmolinsky has lived and worked in New York since 1982. He has composed hundreds of works, including operas, chamber music, choral music, musical theater pieces, orchestral music, film scores and songs. He is also a classical guitarist and singer and has performed extensively in these titles. His most recent works include The Constitution: A Secular Oratorio; Pentagrams, a chamber work for flute, guitar and piano; The Trial of Anna, an opera based on the 2015 trial of Dr Anna Stubblefield; The Yarmolinsky Variations, a 50-minute video; and Americana, a program of American folk song arrangements for solo guitar. Before graduating from Harvard University in 1977, Yarmolinsky spent two years in Paris, studying with the legendary Nadia Boulanger. From 1978 to 1982, he lived in Morocco where he taught music at the American school in Tangier, immersed himself in local music and befriended the composer Paul Bowles. Back in New York, he studied at the City University of New York where he obtained his doctorate. in musical composition. In 1989 he was one of the founders of Friends & Enemies of New Music. He currently holds a professorship of music on the campus of the Bronx Community College of the City University of New York.

Vertical Player Repertory creates ensemble-led opera theater in extraordinary locations, bringing theatrical integrity and unconventional spirit to an eclectic mix of repertoire, in settings ranging from a factory yard on the Gowanus Canal to Brooklyn’s last active seaport. A pioneer of the independent opera movement, VPR’s unique vision and adventurous use of place invites both performer and audience to reimagine the grand possibilities of opera.

Grace Chorale of Brooklyn (GCB) is a 90-member community choir with a number of important missions: to present great choral music to Brooklyn communities, to provide amateur singers with the opportunity to study and perform works from the rich tradition of choral music, and commission new music from promising composers. GCB celebrates its 45th anniversary this year and, under the leadership of Music Director Jason Asbury, our members, musical partnerships and range of repertoire continue to grow in socially relevant programming and meaningful collaboration with other musicians, choirs and composers. , both local and national. For more information, visit www.gracechorale.org.

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