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ASU Choirs 2022–23 season celebrates the joy of singing in community


Students singing in a choir.

Six choirs take the stage this year as part of the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre’s upcoming choirs season.

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October 18, 2022

Six choirs take the stage this year as part of the Arizona State University School of Music, Dance and Theatre’s upcoming choirs season.

The choirs in the choral program — Barrett Choir, Concert Choir, Gospel Choir, Choral Union, Canticum Bassum and Sol Singers — include nearly 300 students and 100 community members each semester.

“Our choirs are diverse and purposeful,” said David Schildkret, professor and co-director of choral activities. “We make it a priority to learn about the pieces we choose to sing. Our time together is spent learning not just the notes on the page, but also exploring their context, relevance and importance.”

New to the choral program this year is Jace Kaholokula Saplan, co-director of choral activities and associate professor of music learning and teaching. Saplan was recently named an Obama Asia-Pacific Leader for their work with decolonizing classical music spaces and music teacher training programs.

“What I bring to ASU and the community is an embodied lens of decolonization,” Saplan said. “I come to this role knowing that choral music and global communal vocal music are the same phenomena.”

Saplan is the primary conductor for the ASU Concert Choir, a diverse group of people with different levels of musical experience that is composed mostly of undergraduate music majors but is open to all ASU students.

Schildkret is the primary conductor for the Barrett Choir and the Choral Union. The Barrett Choir, founded by Schildkret in 2011, is composed mostly of students in Barrett, The Honors College, but any ASU student may join. Members participate in all aspects of the choir, from choosing repertoire to organizing social events and day-to-day musical decisions. The Choral Union, an intergenerational ensemble united in a common love of singing large-scale works for chorus and orchestra, includes ASU students, faculty, alumni and staff members as well as residents of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The ASU Gospel Choir, led by Assistant Professor Nathan De’Shon Myers, is a mixed-voice ensemble that includes people of all faiths and backgrounds and is devoted to the unique repertory of gospel music in the United States, both past and present.

Graduate students Iese Wilson and Colin Cossi are the primary conductors for Canticum Bassum and the Sol Singers, respectively. Canticum Bassum is a tenor-bass ensemble of music majors, non-music majors and community members from a variety of backgrounds singing music ranging from challenging to entertaining. The Sol Singers, a soprano-alto choir, brings people together to create music that is inclusive, informative and a catalyst for friendship and community. Members include music majors, non-music majors and community members from all different backgrounds.

“Participating in the choirs refines the members’ musicianship, prepares members for a lifetime of choral singing, whether in professional or volunteer capacities, and provides fulfilling musical experiences,” Schildkret said.

All six choirs collaborate frequently with each other, with various music ensembles and with other groups in the community and schools and programs at ASU, such as the ASU Symphony Orchestra, ASU Dance and The Sidney Poitier New American Film School.

The choirs, part of the Phoenix metropolitan area’s vibrant musical scene, have performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and in France. They also periodically work with leading composers, conductors, educators and performers.

2022–23 Choral Season

Canticum Bassum, Sol Singers
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19
Katzin Concert Hall
Tickets $12 at Herberger Institute Box Office (students of any institution or level free with ID).
Sol Singers, the soprano-alto choir, and Canticum Bassum, the tenor-bass ensemble, present their fall concert.

Barrett Choir, Choral Union
4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22
First United Methodist Church, Central and Missouri, Phoenix
Tickets $12 at Herberger Institute Box Office (students of any institution or level free with ID).
Barrett Choir and Choral Union fall concert, featuring the Choral Union performing Mozart’s "Requiem."

Concert Choir, Gospel Choir
4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 23
Dayspring United Methodist Church, 1365 E. Elliot Rd., Tempe
Tickets $12 at Herberger Institute Box Office (students of any institution or level free with ID).
Fall concert of the Gospel Choir and Concert Choir, featuring the Concert Choir singing “Romancero Gitano” by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

Concert Choir
guest artists Miriam Camerini and Manuel Buda
Katzin Concert Hall
7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 6
Tickets: $12 at Herberger Institute Box Office.
In cooperation with the Jewish studies conference on Italian Jewish music, the ASU Concert Choir performs Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s “Romancero Gitano.” Miriam Camerini and Manuel Buda offer a unique look at Italian Jewish music.

Holiday Choral Gala
7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12  ASU Gammage Box Office (ASU students free with ID).
All six ASU choral ensembles will present a concert of seasonal favorites old and new. Choirs include Barrett Choir, Concert Choir, Gospel Choir, Choral Union, Canticum Bassum and Sol Singers.

Barrett Choir
7:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 19
Tempe Center for the Arts
Tickets: $12 at Tempe Center Box Office (students of any institution or level free with ID).
The annual Pops Concert, with music chosen by the choir and solos and ensembles prepared by the choir members.

Gospel Choir, Canticum Bassum, Sol Singers and Concert Choir
7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 25
Dayspring United Methodist Church, 1365 E. Elliot Rd., Tempe
Tickets: $12 at Herberger Institute Box Office (students of any institution or level free with ID).
Gospel Choir, Canticum Bassum, Sol Singers and Concert Choir will present their spring concert.

Gospel Choir Workshop
April 21–23
Tempe Center for the Arts

ASU Choirs and ASU Symphony Orchestra
7:30 p.m., Friday, April 28
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12 at Gammage Box Office (ASU students free with ID).
The ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Choirs will celebrate the end of the 2022–23 season with Beethoven’s monumental utopian vision of the unity of humankind, "Symphony No. 9." The concert begins with Carlos Simon’s “Fate Now Conquers,” a brilliant new work inspired by an emotional journal entry from Beethoven’s notebooks.
Carlos Simon: "Fate Now Conquers" (orchestra)
Beethoven: "Symphony No. 9," “Ode to Joy” (soloists, choir and orchestra)
• Kaitlyn Sabrowksy, soprano.
• Stephanie Weiss, mezzo-soprano.
• Bille Bruley, tenor.
• Gordon Hawkins, bass.
• Jeffery Meyer, conductor.

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