Calling All Tenors

Dear Fellow Philadelphians,

As we begin planning for 2011, we’re hoping to add a few singers to our ensemble. If you are a Philadelphia-area tenor with strong sight-reading skills, the ability to sing independently, and a taste for irreverent, collaborative music-making, read on.

Chestnut Street Singers is a twelve-voice cooperative chamber chorus in search of one tenor for the spring of 2011. We focus on tracing the musical, textual, and thematic links between music of the Renaissance and of today, and we like to provide both our singers and our audience with the cultural and historical context of our repertoire. We are devoted to ambitious singing and thoughtful (and occasionally irreverent) programming, drawing on both canonical favorites and lesser-known gems. Recent performances–entitled “Music to Hear” and “Sex, Drugs, and Madrigals”–have featured the works of Clement Janequin, Morten Lauridsen, Knut Nystedt, William Byrd, P.D.Q. Bach, Kenneth Leighton, Henry Purcell, and George Shearing.

The spring season will comprise two separate concerts: “The Food of Love,” on March 20, and “I Hear America Singing,” on June 12. “The Food of Love” will feature music about–surprise, surprise–love, including pieces by Pablo Casals, Blake Henson, David del Tredici, William Billings, and Z. Randall Stroope. This concert will also include both a fundraising dinner, to support the Chestnut Street Singers, and a food drive, to support a local food bank. “I Hear America Singing” will be devoted to American regional song traditions and American composers, especially as they deal with themes of traveling and leaving. Repertoire will include works by Abbie Betinis, Moses Hogan, Nina Gilbert, Avery Claflin, and a new commission from John B. Hedges.

Rehearsals take place on Mondays from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, located at 2125 Chestnut Street. Rehearsals for the spring season will begin in early January. All concerts also take place at the First Unitarian Church, and admission to concerts is always free. As we are a new group, we will be applying for grants this winter and hope to begin paying our singers for their time and talents this spring.

The ideal candidate is an experienced musician and a strong sight-reader, with the ability to learn music individually. We do not require our singers to sing always in straight tone, but we prefer singers who can control their vibrato and sing mindfully within a small group. We are an ambitious, hard-working, close-knit band, and we take great pride and pleasure in the music we create together. If you are an interested tenor, please contact us at chestnutstreetsingers at gmail dot com. We look forward to singing with you soon.