Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia announces $25,000 in project support from The Archie W. and Grace Berry Foundation to help produce a major performance and public outreach program in the spring of 2012. “RITUALS: East/West” is a collaboration with composer Andrea Clearfield and The Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia and will be performed at The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse.
In the weeks leading up to the April 2012 concert, the public will be invited to attend several outreach sessions that explore Tibetan language, folk music and dance, all of which directly inspired this Clearfield commission. This new work was co-commissioned by Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, a member choir of Commonwealth Youthchoirs. The concert will also include the Fauré Requiem with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia performing for both works.
Speaking on behalf of Mendelssohn Club, Executive Director Janelle McCoy was delighted to announce the support from The Berry Foundation. “This generous gift will help underwrite a significant portion of the production costs for this ambitious and multi-faceted program.” McCoy added, “Exploring the dichotomy between eastern and western traditions in one music program is designed to connect diverse cultures and encourage greater understanding among Asian and Western communities.”
The Berry family are trustees of the Berry Foundation and strong supporters of Mendelssohn Club. Ms. Berry, a soprano who has performed many solo recitals in Europe, spoke highly of the historic music organization. “The Berry Foundation is excited to support Mendelssohn Club’s innovative programming. The use of music as a common ground between cultures can inspire the involvement of diverse communities.”
The commissioned portion of this project stems from composer Andrea Clearfield’s research in Tibet where she studied that culture’s ritualistic dance, chant and melody and their uses in Buddhist tradition. Clearfield believes “Composing music can transport one to the far reaches of one’s imagination. Commissions like this one inspire me to explore places, subjects, sounds, and spaces that I might never have imagined, musical and otherwise.”
The mission of the Archie W. and Grace Berry Foundation is to protect and improve the quality of life through the support of projects and programs related to the environment, human and animal welfare, education, and the arts and culture. Established in 1988, the Foundation primarily makes grants in southeastern Pennsylvania.
One of America’s oldest choruses, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia 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 2011-2012 season, visit www.mcchorus.org. You can also find Mendelssohn Club on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mcchorus.