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Festival singers

March 31, 2014

Dear Fellow Singers,

During the week of August 3rd through August 10th, 2014, choral musicians from the Bay Area, North America and Russia will gather in San Francisco for a Russian Choral Music Festival – a first ever West Coast presentation of some of the most compelling, moving – and largely unknown – music of the Russian choral tradition. This is a project for experienced and committed singers (though there is no requirement to speak or read Russian), and we’re inviting you to come and be part of this unique choral event.

The Festival will include a series of concerts during the week, featuring different choral groups and singers from both the United States and Russia, and presenting a wide variety of Russian music. The high point of the Festival will be a performance by an SATB Festival Choir of some 100 voices, including singers from Slavyanka Chorus, the sponsoring group in San Francisco; from other Bay Area choirs and choruses; alumni of the Yale University Russian Chorus; and guest singers from the Rachmaninov Festival Choir of America. All Bay Area singers will rehearse together weekly 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Thursday evenings during June and July in San Francisco. Singers from outside the Bay Area will join them for two daylong rehearsals on August 8th and 9th, in preparation for the final concert of the Festival on the afternoon of Sunday, August 10th.

One of the goals of the Festival is to help choral musicians become more knowledgeable about the full range of the Russian choral tradition. Professional musicians, choir directors and singers will particularly appreciate the opportunity during rehearsals to learn about performance practices, available repertoire, proper pronunciation and other related subjects. In addition, there will be educational workshops to directly address topics of interest.

The Festival Choir will be under the direction of Irina Shachneva, a professional choral conductor, teacher and vocal coach. Ms. Shachneva has had a distinguished career in Russia and in Boston (directing the International Rachmaninov Choral Festival), and is now the Artistic Director of Slavyanka Chorus, a choir specializing in Russian choral music. More about her at http://www.slavyanka.org/director.html

The Festival Choir program will include important musical works spanning many different periods and styles of Russian sacred music, from early monastic chants to contemporary sacred compositions, as well as some secular selections to round out the program (see the attached “Program”). Two remarkable soloists will also join us for this concert: Andrei Nemzer, countertenor and winner of the Metropolitan Opera competition two years ago; and Mikhail Svetlov, bass soloist from the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. As Festival Choir singers, you will also have the unique opportunity to participate in a Master Class for vocal training on Thursday, August 7th.

Registration fees for the Festival Choir are outlined on the accompanying Application form. While we do count on these funds to make the Festival possible, we don’t want this requirement to be a barrier to those who wish to sing. This will be an extraordinary and unique event, and we hope you can join us.
To sign up online, here at the website, click here, the Online Application

To sign up by mail or fax please fill in your Paper Application and return it by May 15th to Donna Warrington:
By E-mail : donnamwarrington@gmail.com
By fax: 415-892-0165
By mail: Donna Warrington, 128 H Lane, Novato, California 94945-2602
Please address any questions to Irina Shachneva: irina_shachneva@yahoo.com or at 978-399-9671 (cell).

Looking forward to your participation,

Paul Andrews
President,
Slavyanka Chorus

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