Choral Singers and Audience Members Join Voices Again for 3rd Annual BIG SING

Korean and African Episcopal Choruses Combine with Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia for BIG SING // Schubert on July 25

PHILADELPHIA – Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia welcomes the Philadelphia Master Chorale and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Chancel Choir in the 3rd annual BIG SING on Wednesday evening, July 25 at the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia. This is a concert where everyone can hear the music being sung all around them as the audience sings along with nearly 200 members of three choruses distributed throughout the church. The 2012 BIG SING //Schubert program is supported by a major $25,000 PNC Arts Alive grant funded by the PNC Foundation. In keeping with the community nature of
this year’s BIG SING, the musical portion of the evening will be followed by an ice cream social sponsored by Turkey Hill Dairy.

This year’s BIG SING will explore the music of the Korean and African Episcopal traditions as a way to help build a cultural bridge between two distinctly different communities. The Philadelphia Master Chorale is a new chorus made up of Korean American singers. The St. Thomas Chancel Choir is one of the city’s oldest and most reknown African Episcopal choirs. Prior to the BIG SING, both choruses will each teach a work from their repertoire to Mendelssohn Club, including a Korean folk song and a Thomas Lloyd piece based upon a combined spiritual and camp meeting experience. Everyone attending the BIG SING will receive music for the entire program so they can…if they want to…join all three choruses in signing the shorter choral works and the Schubert masterwork, Mass in G.

Speaking on behalf of Mendelssohn Club, Executive Director Janelle McCoy explained the BIG SING concept, “BIG SING has become our most popular engagement initiative. We remove the traditional barrier between performers and listeners and have the chorus and audience sit together while everyone in the hall performs a choral masterwork together.” McCoy added, “The physical arrangement of singers sitting next to audience members enables the audience to experience the music from the inside out.
Audience members have compared the experience to being enveloped by cinematic surround sound where you can literally feel the music vibrating all around you.”

Details:

BIG SING//Schubert
Featuring the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Chancel Choir and the Philadelphia Master Chorale

7 pm, Wednesday, July 25
The musical portion of the evening will be followed by an ice cream social sponsored by Turkey Hill Dairy.

First Baptist Church of Philadelphia
123 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Tickets: $23 online, $25 at the door
All tickets may be purchased online and printed by visiting www.mcchorus.org

BIG SING//Schubert is presented through the generous support of PNC Arts Alive.

Participating Choruses

African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Chancel Choir

Since its earliest days, St. Thomas Church has regarded music as an integral part of worship service. The first pipe organ built in an African-American church was dedicated in St. Thomas Church in 1839, setting the stage for distinctive, excellent music. The Chancel Choir was founded in 1886 as the Senior Choir. More recently, the Chancel Choir has been dedicated to preserving the legacy of African-American composers, performing concerts that featured the works of John D. Cooper, James East, Willis Barnett and Clayton White, among others. The Chancel Choir has inspired audiences here in Philadelphia, as well as abroad, performing in Costa Rica and the Bahamas. Dr. Jay Fluellen, the present Organist/Choir Director, received his Doctorate in Music Composition from Temple University. Dr. Fluellen, who also sings tenor, is a gifted jazz pianist, composer and arranger

Philadelphia Master Chorale

The Philadelphia Master Chorale, with more than 45 members, is the Philadelphia Korean community’s leading classical chorus. Their current repertoire includes choral works by Western and Korean composers as well as Korean folk songs. In 2010, the choir performed a charity concert with violinist David Kim to raise aid for Haiti. The Philadelphia Master Chorale was founded in 2009 by conductor Changho Ho Lee. A native of Korea, Mr. Lee has a master degree in oboe performance under Louis Rosenblatt and one in choral conducting under Alan Harler at Temple University. Presently, Mr. Lee sings bass with the Mendelssohn Club in Philadelphia. He is also the music director at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church in New Jersey. Previous appointments include serving as assistant conductor of the Bucks County Choral Society, Temple University Concert Choir, University Singers, University Chorale and Chamber Choir, and also as assistant with the Korea Air Force Military Band where he served as a captain and conductor for eight years, from 1992 to 2000.

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

One of America’s oldest choruses, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia has been expanding choral art for over 135 years through artistic excellence, new works, and cross-genre performance. Mendelssohn Club performs choral music to create a shared transcendent experience among its singers and audiences. Through the excellence of its adventurous performances, Mendelssohn Club advances the development of choral music as an art form. For information about Mendelssohn Club’s concerts and programs, or to order tickets for the 2012-2013 season, visit www.mcchorus.org. You can also find Mendelssohn Club on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mcchorus.