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Listen to The Crossing on WRTI 90.1: The Tower and the Garden, Sunday, March 3 at 4 PM

The Crossing recently won a second Grammy award! This time, it was the 2019 Grammy award for Best Choral Performance for Zealot Canticles. Listen to their stunning October 2018 concert, recorded live at the Presybyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, on WRTI 90.1.

Conducted by Donald Nally, The Crossing is a Philadelphia-based, professional chamber choir dedicated to new music, and committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its over 70 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.

The Tower and the Garden is a setting of three poems for choir and strings. The texts juxtapose the dangers of unchecked technological advancement (the tower) and the need for a place of refuge (the garden) in a world threatened by war and ecological disaster. Each text is written by (or about) artists who used Catholic thought or Catholic imagery to challenge the status quo.

Listen on WRTI 90.1 or streaming at WRTI.org, March 3rd, 4 to 5:30 PM.


Gregory Spears: The Tower and the Garden (world premiere)
James Primosch: Carthage (world premiere)
Joel Puckett: I enter the earth
Toivo Tulev: A child said, what is the grass?

Are we called today to pacifism or activism? What do we protect, the integrity of capitalism or the health of the community?

These questions lie at the root of poems by Thomas Merton, Denise Levertov, and Keith Garebian. Set by Gregory Spears in a new 30-minute work for strings and choir, they also ask us to consider the relationship between technological innovation and its dangers that often lead to haunting sociological change. Philadelphia composer James Primosch sets an excerpt from Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping, an exploration of the balancing effect of desire and longing on our lives. The program includes two additional works written for The Crossing, Toivo Tulev’s A child said, what is the grass? and Joel Puckett’s dizzying, entrancing I enter the earth.

The Crossing won a 2019 Grammy award for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Lansing McLoskey's Zealot Canticles. Last year, the ensemble won a 2018 Grammy award for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century