Dear Friends --

A lot of folks have been asking about plans for our 11th annual Summer Choral Festival. Among the singers who join us for this fantastic event year after year, the number one question has been: what piece are we doing?

I've been cagey about answering that question, not because I was uncertain, but because Abby and the board and I have been involved in some very delicate negotiations that have finally come to fruition. (Lately when people ask, I've been dropping this hint: JB.)

Let me explain.

While the Summer Choral Festival has often centered on an acknowledged choral/orchestra masterwork from the Western canon, we also see it as part of our mission to bring performances of extraordinary music by contemporary composers. Even beyond that, we intend to commission a lot of new music as we move forward.

At the same time, we have been trying to figure out a way to bring in new audience members. People who won't set foot in the door if what they're being offered seems irrelevant to their sensibilities and tastes. A younger crowd, yes, but also people who don't know the power (and fun!) that a concert of choir and orchestra can bring.

What we've got in store for the summer ticks all those boxes, and after a long and arduous (and expensive!) process, we are thrilled that we can finally reveal our plans. We have commissioned a new piece, from one of the most popular and controversial musical artists of the last two decades.
Justin Bieber.

You heard me right. This summer, participants in our festival will have the honor of presenting the world premiere of a new work by an artist that Rolling Stone called "unaccountably popular."

After a long negotiation (and a $35 million fundraising campaign -- thanks to all of you who contributed!), we have commissioned Justin to compose a 3-hour autobiographical oratorio for mixed chorus, 12 soloists (all countertenors), 85-piece orchestra (including 9 contrabassoons), rock band, dance team, and five DJs. Justin's working title for the piece is "Surly: A Requiem For My Childhood."

(Friends, if you don't have goosebumps right now, there is something wrong with you.)

Registration will open April 20. This is an experience you won't want to miss, and I hope you'll choose to be a performer and not just a spectator. (The board is having a serious conversation right now about concert dress, so stay tuned). This is one of those deals that you will one day tell your grandchildren about. Click here for more information!

I hope you'll be a Belieber with with me.


Matthew Greer
Current-But-Soon-To-Be-Former Artistic Director
Quintessence, A Community of Singers.