Press Releases

Classical MPR to Give Big Voice to Choral Music with New Choral Initiative

April 23, 2012

Initiative to include new Harmony in the Park outdoor choral festival;concerts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and King's College Choir; a 24/7 choral audio stream and more

(St. Paul, Minn.) - April 23, 2012 - Classical MPR announces its 2012-2013 Choral Initiative--a series of on-air, online and onstage programs to propel and enrich Minnesota's choral music community.

With the Choral Initiative, Classical MPR is launching new programs, including a new choral festival, Harmony in the Parkô, in June at the Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis; along with concerts by some of the world's finest choirs--the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and King's College Choir--and a new 24/7 stream dedicated to choral music on classicalmpr.org.

"Choral music is part of the signature sound of Classical MPR," said Brian Newhouse, managing director, Classical MPR. "We're thrilled to build that out with new initiatives to serve larger audiences. Not just on-air audiences, but our online and live-events audiences as well. That range of activity is ambitious. Because choral music comes out of and can attract such diverse communities, we're excited to welcome new audiences to the music and to MPR."

The new 24/7 choral stream deserves special mention. It is unique in public media, as no other public radio station in the country offers a programmed service of choral music around the clock.

"We want to give choral fans a great listening experience when it's convenient for them," says Newhouse. "That means freeing it from a schedule-driven radio calendar, i.e. 'you missed it Sunday night at six, so you have to wait until the next broadcast.' If you love choral, our stream is always on."

MPR launches its stream with a focus on Minnesota's superb choirs; ensembles like VocalEssence, Cantus, The Singers, St. Olaf Choir, Choral Arts Ensemble, National Lutheran Choir, and many others.

"Minnesota is the nation's center of great choral singing," says Newhouse. "We could do no better for our audiences than present these groups who are right here in our own front yard."

Going forward, the choral stream will include more Minnesota groups and grow to include ensembles from other parts of the nation and the globe. The choral stream will also be accompanied by free mp3's of choral music; archived radio programs from MPR's long history of presenting choral specials; news of new choral releases, and other features.

Classical MPR is also innovating with several exciting live concerts, beginning this summer with an evening-long choral festival. Harmony in the Parkô will feature three outstanding Twin Cities-based ensembles (One Voice Mixed Chorus, the Minnesota Boychoir and VocalEssence), and is the first annual event spotlighting a diverse array of choirs who call Minnesota home.

And Classical MPR will present three outstanding choirs in concert during 2013. King's College Choir from England is renowned globally for its annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast every Christmas Eve. Their April 2013 concert will be a rare chance for Minnesota audiences to hear these men and boys live and in-person. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is expected to sell out Target Center quickly when tickets go on sale-a rare visit to Minnesota for arguably the world's most famous vocal ensemble. Last, though certainly not least, is the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir--an ensemble with a growing reputation outside of Europe; but choral lovers already know this as one of the world's very top choirs, with an exquisite perfection to their blended sound. Classical MPR is proud to announce a new commission from Minnesota composer Edie Hill, who will write a new work for the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir's U.S. Tour and performance in St. Paul.

Classical MPR is committed to harnessing the incredible power of choral music for the benefit of audiences and communities throughout Minnesota. Learn more at classicalmpr.org/choral.

Here's how the Choral Initiative will take shape:

On Stage

Harmony in the Parkô On Thursday, June 7, at 7 p.m., Classical MPR will present the first annual Harmony in the Park, a free outdoor choral festival at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. This year's lineup includes One Voice Mixed Chorus, the Minnesota Boychoir and VocalEssence.

Classical MPR Choral Presentations
Upcoming concerts in 2013 include:

King's College Choir at the Cathedral of St. Paul
Thursday, April 4, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets go on sale to MPR Members Oct. 2, 2012, to the general public Oct. 9, 2012
Ticket prices: TBA

Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Target Center
Thursday, June 20, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets go on sale to MPR Members Nov. 7, 2012; to the general public Nov. 23, 2012
Ticket Prices: $25. $39, $59, $79

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir at the Cathedral of St. Paul
Friday, November 22, 2013
Ticket sale date and prices: TBA

Online

Choral Stream: Listen to Classical MPR's 24/7audio stream dedicated to choral music, available at classicalmpr.org/choral

Free MP3 Downloads: Classical MPR has worked with choral leaders throughout the United States to select pieces for free downloads, making choral music even more accessible to a range of listeners. Our first offering will be a collection of beautiful pieces by the Dale Warland Singers.

On Air

Live Concert Broadcasts: Classical MPR will broadcast thrilling live concerts from the national convention of Chorus America in Minneapolis this summer, and from the American Choral Directors Association in Minnesota (ACDA-MN) 50th anniversary in November.

TUNE IN: Classical MPR can be heard in the Twin Cities on KSJN 99.5 FM. A complete list of Classical MPR stations can be accessed online: go to ClassicalMPR.org, and click on "stations."

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