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Why I sing

Josh Krugman | Bass
For those moments. Those moments right before the first note is played in concert, when a passage of music clicks in vocally during a rehearsal, when 80 voices finally come together, when your sound lines up perfectly and making music becomes effortless. I sing for those little moments that are personal and shared at the same time.


Nelson Mandela

Ēriks Ešenvalds:
The Time Has Come

Nelson Mandela gained international fame as a revolutionary leader working against the official government system of apartheid in South Africa. He was repeatedly arrested in the 1950s and ultimately spent 27 years in prison.

Released in 1990, he and president F.W. de Klerk worked toward a negotiated end to the apartheid system. Mandela was elected president in 1994 and served until 1999, the nation’s first black head of state. He received hundreds of international honors for his work to achieve truth and reconciliation, including the Nobel Prize.

The text for Ēriks Ešenvalds’ The Time Has Come is an excerpt from Mandela’s inaugural address. The Singers released the work in a “virtual choir” performance.

Westminster Bridge

Ola Gjeilo:
Westminster Bridge

Walking across Westminster Bridge in the early morning of July 31, 1802, and looking at the awakening city, the poet William Wordsworth entered a period of deep creative reverie. His sonnet, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge,” captures a strong sense of place, time and emotional impact. Composer Ola Gjeilo set that sonnet in a work commissioned by the Providence Singers with its Wachner Fund for New Music.

The Singers gave the world premiere in May 2017, accompanied by the Aurea Ensemble with Gjeilo at the piano. This season, the Singers has released that work in a “virtual choir” performance. Enjoy it now on our YouTube channel or read the text and program notes.

Biebl Ave Maria

Franz Biebl: Ave Maria

The Singers first performed music of Franz Biebl in March 2015. His Ave Maria, composed in 1964 and popularized years later by Chanticleer, became the best-known of what Biebl called his “little songs.” The Singers found, as the composer Wilbur Skeels wrote, that “there is nothing ‘little’ about the quality of his compositions.” Artistic Director Christine Noel has edited individual recordings of 68 singers into a new virtual choir performance.

Listen to it now on our YouTube channel.
You can also read the program notes and text.

Wound in the Water

The Wound in the Water

In May 2019 the Providence Singers presented Kim André Arnesen’s deeply moving 2016 work, The Wound in the Water. Using a libretto by the Welsh poet Euan Tait, Arnesen explores human exile, separation from a beautiful world, and diminished capacity for love, then points to a way forward, aiming at a shared song and the healing power of music.

The Singers now offers that work online, recorded in concert with a chamber orchestra, the first online offering of the season.

Listen to it now on our YouTube channel.
You can also read the program notes and text

Virtual Choir

Somewhere. Sometime.
Choral performance at a safe social distance

On Saturday, March 28, the Providence Singers and 300 patrons were to gather on the 17th floor of the Biltmore Hotel for a festive gala performance of music from the Broadway stage. That was not to be, of course, but a small group of members has produced a “Virtual Choir” performance of “Somewhere” from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.
Enjoy it now.

Recordings of the Providence Singers

Dan Forrest: Requiem for the Living
Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living proved to be a powerful work in performance for both singers and listeners. He wrote it in 2013. The Providence Singers performed it in November 2014, together with three Bach motets. Little more than two years after the concert, the Singers had finished its initial Kickstarter campaign, raised additional funds, and booked a recording session at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. The CD was released December 5, 2017.
Notes and text  |  Download at iTunes | Amazon | Google Play

Lou Harrison: La Koro Sutro
La Koro Sutro, sung entirely in Esperanto and accompanied by an American gamelan — built for performances in Boston and Providence by our friends at the Boston Modern Orchestra Project — was exotic, immediately engaging, and unlike anything the Singers had encountered before or performed since. BMOP paired the Singers’ recording of La Koro Sutro with Harrison’s Suite for Violin and American Gamelan to make an extraordinary CD, released in July 2014. Program Notes  |  Read the Globe’s review

Dominick Argento: Jonah and the Whale
Jonah was a difficult prophet. He tried to wriggle out of divine assignments and whined loudly enough to annoy even God. Dominick Argento used medieval poetry, the Book of Jonah and other sources to prepare the libretto for this composition, preserving ancient alliterations and a great deal of wit and charm: “Even the casual listener will notice that the whale (the trombone solo in the Intermezzo section) gets the best tune in the work. And this is as it should be since I consider the whale, not Jonah, to be the hero of the piece.” Notes on the work ...

Lukas Foss: The Prairie
Lukas Foss fled Nazi Germany with his family – first to Paris in 1933 and then to the United States in 1937. He was 15 when he arrived in Philadelphia to begin his studies at the Curtis Institute. Foss embraced his new homeland – “... as a boy of 15, I fell in love with America,” he said – becoming a U.S. citizen in 1942. He found Carl Sandburg’s poem when he was 19 and began almost immediately to set it to music, adapting it himself without a librettist. The Singers loved it as well. Notes and composer’s commentary ...