Volume 4, Issue 4 | April 18, 2019

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Requiem
Giovanni Gabrieli, Viva la musica
Heinrich Schütz, Uppsala-Magnificat
George Frideric Handel, excerpt from Messiah
Crossley Danielle Hawn, soprano
Kristen Dubenion-Smith, mezzo-soprano
Norman Shankle, tenor
Kerry Wilkerson, bass
Please note the new start time of 5:00 PM

Click here to order tickets today!
“Long live music! Long live music!” cries the double choir in call and response in Giovanni Gabrieli’s “Viva la musica,” the piece that opens our May 19 Baroque and Beyond concert. Gabrieli’s student Heinrich Schütz brought the Venetian polychoral style to Germany, the beginning of an illustrious musical lineage passing from Gabrieli to Schütz to Bach to Handel, and, of course, to Mozart. To find out more, continue reading HERE .
Venetian School, 16 th century
Meet Soprano Soloist Crossley Hawn
The City Choir of Washington’s audience is familiar with soprano Crossley Danielle Hawn from her bravura performance of Brian Bartoldus’ Magnificat , and as a soloist in Charpentier’s Te Deum last April. ( Click here to listen to an excerpt of Crossley singing “Suscepit Israel” from the Baroldus Magnificat ). We are thrilled to welcome her back on May 19 in City Choir’s Baroque and Beyond concert, performing Heinrich Schütz’s Uppsala Magnificat and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem . “I had so much fun singing with City Choir last year,” Crossley says, “and am truly honored to be back this season.”  

photo credit: Kristina Sherk
and Yevgen Gulekno

Crossley maintains a busy career as a soloist, working with many local ensembles, including Cathedral Choral Society, Choralis (she won their Young Artists Competition in 2018), and the Folger Consort. She is also a cantor and chorister at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and at the National Cathedral. Further, she is one-third of Eya: Ensemble for Medieval Music; a creative director of the Bridge Ensemble; and was project manager of The Experiential Orchestra for the first-ever commercial  recording of Dame Ethel Smyth's The Prison , recently recorded with Clarion Choir. “I do have a lot of irons in the fire,” Crossley admits, “but I wouldn't have it any other way! I am incredibly blessed to do what I love for a living.”

Crossley’s approach to ensemble versus solo singing may be of particular interest to choral singers. She comments, “Singing in ensembles is about the unit as a whole, meaning your sound must fit into the sound of your teammates' in an appropriate and beautiful way. This takes trust in your colleagues, and it means a lot more attention to detail in terms of unity of vowels/tone/vibrato/phrasing, etc.” According to Crossley, there are some real technical challenges, particularly in the early and new music repertoire: “Modifying vibrato is a large part of that work, especially for sopranos,” Crossley points out. “It is very important to me to never sing completely straight, however. Even when I remove the vibrato in my voice, I try to sing with a healthy spin within the context of a more blended sound. It is possible to sing sans vibrato with spin in the sound!”

Crossley’s method of learning a new piece starts with her ears. “I do a lot of listening to start, both of well-known pieces and lesser-known works (when the recordings exist!),” she says. “I do stop listening to recordings at a certain point in my preparation so that I'm focused on my personal interpretation, but in those early stages, I love hearing the different decisions that singers make in interpretation and performance. When someone does something brilliant or helpful on a recording, you better believe I am going to shamelessly steal—er—borrow it.”

Her favorite music to sing comes from the Baroque era, which she says “allows me to both use my natural vibrato and to play with straighter singing in moments of dissonance and cadences. My lighter tone and slightly lower soubrette soprano range work to my advantage in early music.” But she also loves a wide range of music, confessing, “I wouldn't ever be satisfied performing only one genre/period of music, however. I've sung a lot of opera, jazz, pop and folk music. I believe singing many different kinds of music keeps you from being pigeon-holed and vocally/professionally locked into one genre. Variety is the spice of life, after all, and it is important to keep the instrument flexible.” 

What’s next for Crossley? “After the City Choir concert (which is, of course, a highlight of my season), there is a program of Purcell verse anthems that I'm performing down in Virginia, and Purcell is one of my absolute favorite composers, so I am extremely excited for that,” she says. “I'm also very much looking forward to my fifth project with The Folger Consort later this year.” Crossley’s medieval trio, Eya, has been active performing in many venues around the Washington, D.C. area and beyond. “We’ve had a wonderful season, and I'm always looking forward to more travels and projects with them,” she notes. In fact, the stars align in City Choir’s in Baroque & Beyond concert, where Crossley will be performing with Eya member Kristen Dubenion-Smith, our mezzo-soprano soloist.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear and see these ascending luminaries on May 19.
Eya: Ensemble for Medieval Music: Crossley Hawn (right), Kristen Dubenion-Smith (center),
Allison Mondel (left)
...is May 22-23 from Noon to Noon
Save the Date for 2019’s Do More 24 event, a 24-hour online fundraiser sponsored by the United Way of Greater Washington to benefit D.C.-area non-profit organizations like TCCW.
Do More 24 offers opportunities for matching funds and prize monies for hundreds of participating non-profits. Last year, TCCW finished first among “arts organizations with a budget under 1 million,” raising more than $15,000.
This year’s goal is $20,000; please do your part and help City Choir stay on top by going on line and donating.

You can also help by spreading the word: a single email or post on social media to your far-flung family and friends will go a long way. The dedicated Do More 24 page on our website explains how to donate, and how to set up "peer-to-peer" giving. It’s easy to use email and social media accounts to include your circle of friends in donating to City Choir.
Donations made between May 22-23 will have the most impact, but there is also an extended period of "advance giving" beginning May 15 and running until 11:59 a.m. on May 22. Money donated in advance will not be eligible for any prizes but will be included in TCCW’s totals.

It’s easy to contribute: beginning at noon on Wednesday, May 22 , look for the Do More 24 logo on TCCW’s website , Facebook page, Instagram , or Twitter . You can also log on to domore24.org and search for the City Choir of Washington under the category “Arts Organizations.” Or, just call or email your City Choir friends and ask them to donate to TCCW during the 24-hour campaign. Just remember that the clock runs out at 11:59 am on Thursday, May 23 .

You can donate any amount, but here are some examples of what your contribution will provide to City Choir:

·        $500 pays the salary of one orchestra member
·        $250 covers the cost for one hour’s rehearsal
·        $125 funds a City Singers performance in a retirement home
·        $ 50 celebrates 50 years of Robert Shafer
·        $ 25 pays for the music score of a guest soloist

In keeping with the theme of “24,” consider that…

·        $24 is about the cost of a week’s worth of lattes
·        $96 is about the cost of a nice dinner for two
·        $240 will get you about 12 uber rides

…a small sacrifice can make a big difference.

Generous contributions from TCCW donors keep the City Choir singing; your support is greatly appreciated. For questions about the Do More 24 campaign, contact Laura Bradford at laura_b_fit@hotmail.com or (240) 723-6904. 
Maestro Shafer Puts His Stamp on a
Unique Donation to City Choir
Maestro Robert Shafer has announced that he will donate the proceeds from the sale of his stamp collection to City Choir! The collection has well over 1,000 stamps, including every first day of issue U.S. stamp from the early 1960s to the early 2000s; some stamps date even earlier than the 1960s. If any reader knows someone who is qualified to appraise the stamp collection, please contact Al Bradford at agbrad13@gmail.com .

City Choir welcomes gifts of any kind! If you have a creative or non-traditional donation, please contact info@citychoir.org . For monetary donations, visit our website to learn about donating online or by mail.
Bloomberg Grant Update
This season, the City Choir of Washington received a two-year grant through Bloomberg Philanthropies' Arts Innovation and Management program. This invitation-only program seeks to strengthen small and mid-size cultural organizations’ organizational capacity and programming. As part of the grant, TCCW staff and board members are benefiting from a series of quarterly arts management seminars on marketing, fundraising, and audience engagement offered by the University of Maryland’s DeVos Institute of Arts Management. The grant also enabled City Choir to hire a marketing consultant at the beginning of the 2018-2019 season, whose efforts led to a more cohesive marketing strategy for TCCW and collaborations with other cultural and educational organizations, such as the George Washington University, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park. 
Celebrating City Choir’s Season Underwriters
The City Choir of Washington held its annual season underwriter appreciation event on April 7 at the beautiful Annapolis Yacht Club. “This amazing program makes up 30% of our funding,” Maestro Shafer noted during his address to donors and guests against the backdrop of the Chesapeake Bay. “You all are the backbone of City Choir!”

If you are interested in learning more about the Season Underwriter program, visit the City Choir website or email TCCW Board Vice-President Barbara Greene at essexroad@aol.com . Signed pledge forms received by October 1, 2019 will assure that your name appears in our concert program booklets throughout the 2019-2020 season.
Robert Shafer addresses season underwriters
Robert Shafer and TCCW Board President Ben Tsai (right) at the Annapolis Yacht Club
Chorus President Bill Doepkens (left) and Board Vice-President Barbara Greene (center) present a floral arrangement to TCCW Guest Conductor Gretchen Kuhrmann (right)
Although devastated by fire in November 2018, Paradise (California) High School and chorus are beginning to recover, thanks in large part to many generous donors. On February 15, City Choir Bass II and Board Member Jeff Jenkins personally delivered a generous donation to the chorus from City Choir members and patrons. To read more, click here .
Jeff Jenkins (right) with former Paradise High School
chorus director Sam Gronseth (left). Photo by Allen Petrinka
Reviewer Patrick D. McCoy writes that “The City Choir of Washington transport[ed] the audience to French sacred glory.” Click here to read the full review of our March 10 concert.
Watch for Exciting New Educational
Collaborations in 2019-2020  
In addition to featuring a stellar high school chorus as our 2019-2020 Twelfth Night concert “Partner in Song,” City Choir is expanding our educational program next season. We will collaborate in a performance of the Duruflé Requiem with last year’s “Partner in Song,” the West Springfield High School Madrigals (under the direction of Dustin Brandt), giving the high school singers the unique opportunity to learn from Maestro Shafer and experience singing with a symphonic chorus and an orchestra. In addition, Maestro Shafer will facilitate workshops with the members of Shenandoah University’s elite women’s chorus, Cantus Singers, who will also perform with the City Choir in concert.

Look for the new 2019-2020 season brochure at the concert on May 19.
The West Springfield High School Madrigals at City Choir’s
Twelfth Night concert, January 6
City Choir friends and patrons:
Join us for an end of season celebration on Friday, May 31
Many terrific items will be going  up  for auction and  on  the block, including a stay at the fabulous  Casa Antonelli  in Costa Rica , a weekend getaway at the historic  Willard InterContinental Hotel  in Washington, D.C., a week’s stay in a charming  Santa Fe   casita , an authentic  English tea  to serve your guests,  gourmet dinners , a custom tour of the  Library of Congress , a  go-kart adventure , and much, much more!!

To buy your tickets online through Eventbrite, click here
Allegro Credits
Editor in Chief/Writer: Emily Hantman Tsai
Contributing Editor: Barbara Greene
Editors/Marketing: Marie Colturi, Zain Shariff, Anne Woodworth
Copy Editor: Kristen Lewandowski
Publisher: Nathaniel Hodges