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The Crossing on WRTI: RETURNING, Coming Home to Song, with Host Donald Nally

Four/Ten Media
The Crossing in performance at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on September, 11, 2021.

Join us on Sunday, October 24th from 5 to 6 PM on WRTI 90.1 to hear the GRAMMY-winning new music chamber choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, perform signature works of the recent past:  Ayanna Woods’ SHIFT, Michael Gilbertson’s Returning, Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Earth Teach Me Quiet with percussionist Ted Babcock, “Gloria” and “Agnus Dei” from James Primosch’s Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus, and John Tavener’s Funeral Ikos.

Nally says, “Returning is a celebration of works we love, sung with artists and for people we love, marking a time of isolation, grief, confusion, hope, and returning.” Read program notes from the concert here.

The Crossing premiered Ayanna Woods’ Shift digitally with film on November 2, 2020, the day before the general election. Subsequently, the expanded version premiered at The Crossing’s Month of Moderns in June 2021 and its residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky Montana. Woods has written the words for this bold new piece in which she contemplates the reimagining of our monuments, building through layers to its climactic arrival, “bursting through the cracks in the story you tell, America.”

Michael Gilbertson’s 20-minute Returning is loosely based on the biblical story of Jonathan and David; exploring what draws one human to another. It reflects The Crossing’s season theme: return / emerge / remember.

Earth Teach Me Quiet by Ēriks Ešenvalds is featured on the ensemble’s critically acclaimed live album Rising w/ The Crossing (New Focus 2020), named NPR's December 2020 album of the month, and the track was named one of The New York Times' 25 Best Classical Tracks of 2020. 

The program continues with two movements,Gloria” and “Agnus Dei” from James Primosch’s Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus, which was written for The Crossing in 2014, featured on the ensemble’s 2020 album CARTHAGE (Parma), and nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Choral Recording. Finally, Funeral Ikos by John Tavener, a work that reaches back to the ensemble’s beginnings and their residency at the Spoleto Festival in Italy in 2007, remembers those we have lost.

ĒRIKS EŠENVALDS: Earth Teach Me Quiet
JAMES PRIMOSCH: Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus: Gloria and Agnus Dei
JOHN TAVENER: Funeral Ikos

The Crossing
Donald Nally, conductor/host
Ted Babcock, percussion

Steven Bradshaw and James Reese
Four/Ten Media
Steven Bradshaw (left) and James Reese playing a tuned water glass during The Crossing's performance of Eriks Esenvalds' "Earth Teach me Quiet."

Read about The Crossing here.

Listen to The Crossing on WRTI, Sunday, October 24th from 5 to 6 PM on 90.1, online at WRTI.org, on the WRTI App, or on your favorite smart speaker.