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More Ensembles Now on WRTI's Friday Choral Connection! The Schedule Is Here

Courtesy of Singing City Choir
Members of Singing City Choir performing at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Rittenhouse Square in 2018. Founded in 1945, the choir is deeply commited to inclusion and community building.

Good news for fans of the Philadelphia region's choral music scene! By popular demand, our Friday Choral Connection, which airs every Friday at 1:30 PM, will be extended into June. And we’ve expanded our offerings to include four more choirs.

Joining The Crossing, Choral Arts Philadelphia, and Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia are: Singing City, Susquehanna Chorale, Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus, and Bucks County Choral Society.

WRTI's Friday Choral Connection began back in September, as a response to every choir performance in our area and around the world being cancelled due to the pandemic. People who sing together, whether professionally or in their places of worship, schools, or community choirs, told us they were suffering, and felt the loss acutely. Airing a weekly choral feature, highlighting an ensemble that reflects Philly’s rich choral tradition, could help mitigate that loss, we hoped.

Our listeners have welcomed WRTI’s Friday Choral Connection with enthusiasm. And the choral community has said: "we want to share more." And so, as we look toward better days, WRTI will continue to bring you this special radio feature offering the beauty and healing power of choral singing, made right here in our listening area, into the summer of 2021.

The schedule for the remainder of the season is below. Debra Lew Harder is host.

January 15, 2021
The Crossing
Kile Smith: The Arc in the Sky, Part 1: "Jazz," Mvts 1-3
January 22, 2021
The Crossing
Anna Thorvaldsdottir: "Ad Genua" (from Seven Responses)
January 29, 2021
The Crossing
Joel Puckett: "I enter the earth"
February 5, 2021
Bucks County Choral Society & Choir of Northeast Philadelphia High School
Selections from A Soulful Celebration (Albert Tindley, arr. Barbara Baker: "A Storm is Passing Over;" Civilla Martin/arr. Rollo Dilworth "I Sing Because I'm Happy")
February 12, 2021
Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia
Rollo Dilworth: "Credo"
February 19, 2021
Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia
Rollo Dilworth: "Rain Sequence"
February 26, 2021
Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia
William Averitt: "Afro-American Fragments"
March 5, 2021
The Crossing
Edie Hill: "Poem for 2084"
March 12, 2021
The Crossing
Caroline Shaw: "To The Hands" (from Seven Responses)
March 19, 2021
The Crossing
Julia Wolfe: "Fire in my mouth," mvt 3: "Protest"
March 26, 2021
Bucks County Choral Society
Cesar Franck: The Beatitudes: "Blessed are the pure in heart"
**April 2, 2021 at 8:05 AM (special time for Good Friday)
Choral Arts Philadelphia
Bach: Cantata 4: Christ lag in Todesbanden
April 9, 2021
Bucks County Choral Society and Bucks County Community College Choir
Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem - I. "Selig, sind, die da Leid tragen"  II. "Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras"
April 16, 2021
Singing City
Arensen: "Flight Song"
April 23, 2021
Singing City
Barber: "Sure on this Shining Night"

April 30, 2021
Singing City
"Ain't Got Time To Die,"  "Ain't That Good News"
May 7, 2021
Susquehanna Chorale
Carol Hall, arr Clair T. McElfresh: "Jenny Rebecca"
May 14, 2021
Susquehanna Chorale
Traditional: "My Song in the Night," arr Mack Wilberg / Peter Anglea: "Jubilate Deo"
May 21, 2021
Susquehanna Chorale
Gwyneth Walker: "Let the Life Lived Speak for Me," Rollo Dilworth: "Shine the Heavenly Light"
May 28, 2021
Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus
Robert Maggio: "Open Road"
June 4, 2021
Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus
Andrea Clearfield: "That Summer: A Fantasia on Family"
June 11, 2021
Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus
Michael Djupstrom: "Raise Our Voice"
June 18, 2021
Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia & Philadelphia Youth Orchestra
Carl Orff: Carmina Burana: "O Fortuna"

Debra's last day on the air at WRTI was September 21st, 2021. She's now the radio host for The Metropolitan Opera. Read more here.