Webster Singers Selected to Help Open Remodeled Pulitzer Arts Space

Apr. 6, 2015

ST. LOUIS (APRIL 6, 2015) – When the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts exhibit space reopens on May 1, guests will be treated to a new choral work commissioned for the grand opening. While the music will be new, the sounds may be familiar. That because many of the voices in the chorus will be supplied by members of the Webster University Chamber Singers.

After researching St. Louis area universities, Composer David Lang reached out to Professor Trent Patterson and the Chamber Singers to be among the 70 singers who will perform the new work. It will be heard during the unveiling of “Press Play,” a program that invigorates the experience of Tadao Ando’s architecture and the works of Calder, Tuttle, and Sandback through sound, activating every nook, corner, and expanse of the space.

“It is an honor to have so many members of the Department of Music’s community selected to participate in the re-opening of a nationally-recognized gallery space,” said Jeffrey Carter, chair of the Department of Music. “This is a unique musical piece that will give our students and faculty a live experience that may never be duplicated again. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Webster Chamber Singers is led by Patterson, director of Choral Studies and Music Education. This flagship choral ensemble at Webster University is comprised of select students who reflect the artistic strength of the choral[JC1] studies program of the University. Many of the students are music majors, with others representing a variety of majors at Webster University.

In the past two years, the Webster Chamber Singers have been recognized on a national scale. Last year, the group was one of only five college choirs selected to perform at the American Choral Directors Association biennial divisional conference. The group also was invited to perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association conference in January of last year. Earlier this year the group released its first recorded album titled “Beginnings.”

The new musical piece by Lang for the Pulitzer Arts event has introduced new experimental territory to the group. The multi-page score was written and composed of crowd-sourced text using auto-populated fields of internet searches.

The score is tonal with no rhythm. Each singer will be given a single line of text with a single note and pitch. Singers will sing at their own speed, breath, and ability in a quiet voice.

The score will be performed by approximately 70 singers placed in a single line along the east wall of the Pulitzer’s B gallery. The performance will last about 45 minute. The composer will direct the work signaling each singer when to begin.

The work is meant to take advantage of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts space and the way sound reverberates through the area.

The members of the live chorus were selected in late February. Rehearsals are set to begin in mid-April with a final rehearsal with the composer just before the opening of the new space.

The re-opening of the space is open to the public. For more information, visit http://pulitzerarts.org/.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University’s campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional campuses in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.

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