The Crossing Choir Continues To Create Despite Covid-19

Jul 22, 2020

Credit The Crossing

"America's most astonishing choir"--The New York Times

The Crossing: based in Philadelphia and led by Donald Nally, this professional chamber choir is dedicated to commissioning and recording substantial new works for choir. Many of its nearly ninety commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued nineteen releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019) and seven Grammy nominations.

Just like all other performing arts organizations, The Crossing is creating new ways of sharing their music. Beginning in July, they started producing a weekly hour-long broadcast that shares recordings of their live performances, with commentary and background information shared by director, Donald Nally. Called Equinox Lope (https://www.crossingchoir.org/equinox), this series will run until the Autumnal Equinox. It's like having a mini concert in your own home!

Additionally, the choir is just beginning to record some new works while remaining socially distant. Some works are aleatoric or "free" and work well for individuals to record his/her part alone. Other recordings will use the aid of a click track. The creative ensemble released a new video recording of a piece by David Lang entitled "Protect Yourself From Infection," which sets text taken from writings and pamphlets from the Spanish Flu epidemic, as well as the names of healthcare workers who helped to save lives during a massive outbreak in Philadelphia. The Crossing recorded a "soundscape" version of this piece in 2019 for use during a parade which was held to mark the centennial of the flu. Months later, we would find ourselves saying the same phrases to one another. At the request of American Public Media's show Performance Today, Nally and Lang created a new, more organized version to rerecord and pair with video created by Steven Bradshaw and Brett A. Snodgrass.