Season of Light: Songs of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Year
Judith Clurman, Conductor With Essential Voices USA
Composers/Arrangers: Jacob Narverud, John Bucchino, Mykola Leontovych, David Chase, Jean Mouton, Stephen Schwartz,
Benjamin Britten and Tedd Firth
CD FROM SONO LUMINUS RELEASED NOV. 18, 2016
Includes both new, innovative arrangements of seasonal favorites as well as brand new pieces commissioned by Essential Voices USA for this release.
This is Essential Voices USA fourth album with Sono Luminus, the former three of which have become bestsellers and are widely acclaimed.
“EVUSA [does] exquisite work….brilliant phrasing and nuance.” — The Huffington Post
“Judith Clurman – the exceptional conductor.” — Time Out, New York
Judith Clurman conducts her acclaimed chorus, Essential Voices USA, in Season of Light: Songs of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Year, the ensemble’s fourth recording for Sono Luminus. This holiday disc includes recordings of new vibrant arrangements of seasonal favorites and new works that were written for the disc by some of America’s finest composers. The repertoire includes Season of Light, Music & Lyrics Jacob Narverud; Grateful, Music & Lyrics John Bucchino, arr. Ryan Nowlin; Carol of the Bells, Mykola Leontovych, English text & arr. Peter J. Wilhousky; God Rest Ye, Traditional English Carol, arr. David Chase; Ave Maria, Jean Mouton; The Chanukah Song (“We Are Lights), Music Stephen Schwartz, Lyrics Steve Young, arr. Ryan Nowlin; A New Year Carol, Benjamin Britten, Lyrics Anon; Auld Lang Syne, Traditional Folk Song, Lyrics Robert Burns, arr. Tedd Firth.
Judith Clurman says: “At the season of the winter solstice, light diminishes in our world. Traditional religions have created festivals to counteract the onslaught of the darkness. Essential Voices USA presents a meaningful holiday sampler of music celebrating our effort to infuse light and joy into the holiday season. We go from Thanksgiving, to Christmas, to Chanukah and to the New Year. We hope that the recording will evoke the warmth of the holiday season.”
1. Season of Light 2:31
Music & Lyrics Jacob Narverud
2. Grateful 5:05
Music & Lyrics John Bucchino, arr. Ryan Nowlin
3. Carol of the Bells 1:20
Mykola Leontovych, English text & arr. Peter J. Wilhousky
4. God Rest Ye 3:46
Traditional English Carol, arr. David Chase
5. Ave Maria 2:12
6. The Chanukah Song (We Are Lights) 4:27
Music Stephen Schwartz, Lyrics Steve Young, arr. Ryan Nowlin
7. A New Year Carol 2:12
Benjamin Britten, Lyrics Anon.
8. Auld Lang Syne 2:36
Traditional Folk Song,Lyrics Robert Burns, arr. Tedd Firth
total time 24:08
ABOUT ESSENTIAL VOICES USA
Judith Clurman, Music Director and Conductor
Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA (EVUSA) is one of New York’s preeminent choral ensembles; it performs at many of the city’s iconic venues and events, and records and premieres works by America’s finest composers and lyricists. Regularly on stage with The New York Pops on its Carnegie Hall subscription series, televised on NBC’s broadcast of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular in 2014, and the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting in 2011 and 2012, the ensemble comprises a talented roster of seasoned professionals and auditioned volunteers, dynamically fitted to the unique needs of each project. Among other national highlights, EVUSA participated in the 2013 Presidential Inaugural activities and held a month-long residency at National Public Radio. The impressive cohort of musicians that have worked with EVUSA run the gamut from the young opera sensation Jamie Barton to Broadway star Idina Menzel to musical theater luminaries Stephen Schwartz and Sheldon Harnick to composers Milton Babbitt and Jennifer Higdon. EVUSA currently produces The Composer Speaks at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, a series of musical performances complemented by panel discussions with composers and lyricists. EVUSA Youth Workshop provides select high school students the opportunity to participate with the main ensemble in the heart of New York City’s music scene. It has recorded works by Marvin Hamlisch and Howard Shore. EVUSA has recorded several CDs for Sono Luminus.
Emmy and Grammy-nominated Judith Clurman celebrates choral and vocal music in all its forms as a conductor and vocal educator. Currently she is the musical director for Essential Voices USA (EVUSA), collaborates with the New York Pops on their Carnegie Hall subscription series and is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music. Conducting performances as diverse as the Österreich Festival Orchestra and Chorus at the Mozarteum Grosser Saal, Salzburg, and the nationally televised July 4th Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular, she has worked with many of the world’s finest symphonies (New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St Luke’s); commissioned new works by over fifty of America’s most estimable composers, some of which can be heard on her numerous CDs on the Sono Luminous and New World Labels; and world premiered a newly-discovered canon text by Mozart for Lincoln Center’s Mozart Bicentennial and a Leonard Bernstein arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at the Leonard Bernstein: Boston to Broadway Festival. Perhaps her most familiar residence was when she was an Emmy-nominated Associate Music Director for Season 39 of Sesame Street. As an educator, she served as Director of Choral Activities at The Juilliard School from 1989-2007, has been a visiting artist/teacher at University of Cambridge, Harvard University, Curtis Institute of Music, Princeton University, the Janacek Academy, and Israel’s Zimriya Festival at Hebrew University, and was faculty at the National Endowment for the Arts/Columbia University Institute of Classical Music. She edits choral editions for G. Schirmer, Schott and Hal Leonard and she is a member of ASCAP, ASCAP’s Special Classification Committee, the GRAMMY Membership Committee, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Her music and arrangements are published by G. Schirmer and Schott.
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