|Dear members of the Binghamton Downtown Singers,|
The Board is very excited to welcome you back for our annual winter concert featuring Handel's Messiah. Rehearsals are starting soon, so we wanted to share some important information with you. First, rehearsals will begin Sunday, September 10th, and will be held weekly at Sarah Jane Johnson UMC from 7-9:15pm. Please bring a pencil, water, your score (if you have one) and your enthusiasm. Please do not wear perfumes or scented lotions. Doors will lock at 7:15 for security purposes, if you need to arrive late, please reach out to a member of the Board. We will have scores available to buy if needed and will begin collecting dues at the first rehearsal ($25 for regular members, $5 for students). For important information, please read our policies and procedures which can be found in the members only section of our website https://www.downtownsingers.
Second, as most of you know, the Board of Directors has a committee currently conducting a search for an interim conductor/artistic director. They have been working very hard behind the scenes this summer and have many very talented candidates. Now we need your help! Prior to our first rehearsal, we will have a short list of candidates that will be invited to conduct 2 rehearsals each. After each rehearsal, we will ask you to complete a feedback form either in Google forms (preferred) or on paper, which we will provide. We are asking that you give each candidate your full participation and to share your honest thoughts. The plan is to have a final decision made by October 29th. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the copresidents@downtownsingers.
We can't wait to sing with you all again. New members are always welcome, so bring friends and we'll see you on September 10th.
The Binghamton Downtown Singers Board of Directors
|The Binghamton Downtown Singers, a dynamic and diverse community choir that has been performing and enriching the cultural fabric of our city for over 40 years, is seeking a skilled and enthusiastic Interim Conductor to lead the ensemble for the 2023-2024 season, with potential for a longer-term engagement.|
The acceptance period for applications has closed, and the Board of Directors is narrowing the list of very talented applicants to a select few who will lead rehearsals with the choir starting in September. Choir members will be providing feedback on each applicant, which will then be used by the Board to help select the Interim Conductor. A decision is expected by early November.
|Local news organizations are highlighting our upcoming Concert of Healing. Please use the links below to view and hear the coverage.|
|Once again this year, the Binghamton Downtown Singers are truly grateful to all the organizations who provide financial support through grants. Our Spring 2023 Concert for Healing featuring Brahms’ Requiem and Forrest’s A Requiem for the Living was made possible by a grant from the Arts and Culture Fund of the Community Foundation of South Central New York. This performance is also made possible with public funds from the Statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and administered by The Earlville Opera House. Additional support for the Broome SCR Program graciously provided by the Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation, Inc. Additional funding is provided in part by a grant from the Broome County Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund and the Ahearn Foundation.|
Thanks again to all these organizations for their financial support of the Downtown Singers! It is truly appreciated.
|As we continue to celebrate our 40th year, we'd like to share some of our rich history with you.|
Alan Crabb was the original artistic director of the Binghamton Downtown Singers which was founded in 1983. Many of the original members of the choir were former students of Alan who had taught for several years in the Binghamton area. Alan felt it was important that amateur singers be given the opportunity to learn and perform master choral works, and that the community as a whole be given the opportunity to hear those master choral works regardless of their means. This remains the mission of the choir to this day.
While the Downtown Singers are probably best known for their annual presentation of Handel's Messiah, a Binghamton holiday tradition, the choir has also performed many other works and at many other venues over the years including: the Roberson Museum, Pops on the River, the Binghamton baseball stadium, and the Binghamton Philharmonic's Home for the Holidays concert. The Downtown Singers have even gained international recognition. The choir has performed in France and has also received a congratulatory letter from Queen Elizabeth II.
Tragically, Alan passed away in the fall of 2012, just as the choir had begun preparing for our 30th year presentation of the Messiah. Instead of celebrating the choir was grieving. Bill Lawson, the choir’s accompanist at the time, stepped up to the podium to lead rehearsals and make our 30th anniversary performance a reality. The choir is grateful to Bill for making that possible.
In the meantime, the Board of Directors initiated a nationwide search for a new music director. After a lengthy search, and several interviews, the Board offered the position to Marisa Crabb, Alan’s wife. Marisa accepted, and the choir began a new chapter. Marisa brought her own unique style and determination to rehearsals and the choir responded. She focused on refining the choir’s sound without sacrificing the “no audition needed” policy. The Binghamton music community noticed, and the choir continues to thrive and present beautiful music for the Binghamton area to enjoy.
|The Binghamton Downtown Singers are proud to announce they will be performing a composition by a local composer, Dan Forrest, as part of their Spring 2023 concert. Here's what the composer had to say:|
"As a native of the Elmira area, who attended choir festivals in Johnson City in high school, I’m delighted for my Requiem to be performed here in Johnson City! What a beautiful story of coming full circle. I’m grateful every time a choir and orchestra bring my music to life again, in the ears of their audience, but especially so in this special place. May this music resonate deeply with performers and audience alike here in the Souther Tier!"
We hope you can join us on June 10th at 7:30PM at Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church to enjoy A Requiem for the Living. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.downtownsingers.org/tickets
|We are pleased to announce that we can now accept credit card payments over the phone for those patrons who aren't comfortable paying online. When a member of our box office staff returns your phone call, just let them know that you'd like to purchase your concert tickets using a major credit card. To purchase tickets over the phone, please call our box office 607-205-8741 and leave a message. Please do not leave your credit card information, but instead wait for the call back.|
|The Downtown Singers have a new box office number. The new number is 607-205-8741. Please update any saved contact information you may have for our office.|
Interviews were held this week to promote our upcoming Messiah performance. Use the links below to watch and listen:
WSKG interview with Tim: https://wskg.org/the-downtown-singers-celebrate-forty-years-of-performing-handels-messiah/
|A group of volunteers from the Binghamton Downtown Singers performed at the 2022 CHOW Concert on Sunday December 4th. We hope you enjoy this video of that performance.|
|YouTube Video URL:|
|The Binghamton Downtown Singers will celebrate their 40th year with a gala|
cocktail party from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Remlik’s, 31 Lewis St.,
Binghamton. Past and present singers, soloists and orchestra members and their guests
Here’s a chance to renew old friendships and make new ones while extending the
festive holiday season – and proving that you own other “glad rags” than just
concert black and white.
An hors d’oeuvres buffet will be $20. Advance tickets are required and can be purchased until January 7th on the DTS website.
There will be a cash bar.
|For more information, see:||https://downtownsingers.org/gala|
|For our 40th year celebration, the Binghamton Downtown Singers wanted to do something special.|
While the Board of Directors gathered posters from previous concerts, the idea to invite soloists from past performances was born. Our Principal Artistic Director, Marisa Crabb, contacted several soloists who were thrilled with the idea. Here are some of their responses:
This warms my heart and I'm excited to return to Binghamton! I would be delighted to sing with you all!
I can’t tell you how much I look forward to singing this wonderful piece with you and the DTS!
Count me in! I am excited and honored to be a part of this performance.
Congrats on your 40th anniversary – such a testament to Alan and to you.
So, as a special treat to kick off our 40th year, our Messiah performance will feature seven soloists, rather than our usual four. We invite you to come join us to hear these amazing voices once again.
|We are excited to be able to make many Covid-related requirements now optional for our rehearsals and performances. As a result, we are seeing our singers return in force for our 40th year. But the more exciting news is that we are seeing a large growth in first-time singers. They comprise 10% of our current chorus! New singers have joined each section, and they are excited to sing with us, and to sing the Messiah. |
Here's what some of our new members have to say about joining the choir:
"My mom used to bring me to rehearsals when I was just a baby. Then I started singing The Messiah when I was 9. The DT Singers have been my extended family. This group raised me; giving me love, and a world class music education. I've learned the importance of listening to my neighbors and the importance of my own voice."
"I'm excited to be a part of the Singers; this experience has been like no other musical endeavor I've embarked upon. I'm meeting wonderful people and learning new music at the same time. I'm so blessed to be carrying on this amazing local legacy and I hope my voice, joined with the rest of the Singers, can honor the memory of those who are no longer with us."
"For many years I dreamed of singing the Messiah but had no training (not even in high school!) and thought it unlikely to happen. But with the encouragement of my eldest child I joined the DTS for the Messiah and learned so much. It's an enormous blessing to be part of such a talented and artistic group and I look forward to more seasons to come!"
As we celebrate our 40th year, we want to hear your story. Maybe you sang with us years ago and want to share that experience. Maybe you are one of our loyal patrons and have a fond memory of a performance and how it brought the spirit of the season to your heart. Or maybe you're a current member and want to share what performing with the choir means to you.
Whatever your story, we would enjoy having you share it with us so we can share it with others. Please click the link below to go to the entry form.
|The Binghamton Downtown Singers are pleased to announce that online ticket sales are now available at https://www.downtownsingers.org/tickets for our 40th year Messiah performance. Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased with a credit card, or by sending a check to:|
Binghamton Downtown Singers
PO Box 1143
Binghamton NY 13902-1143
Tickets purchased online with a credit card can be printed immediately. Tickets purchased online with a check can be printed once the check has cleared.
In addition, one student is admitted free with each ticket purchase, so bring those young people in your life to enjoy this glorious holiday music.
Tickets may also be purchased by leaving a message at 607-875-4371, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by contacting any choir member.
|Since 1983, the Binghamton Downtown Singers have been known for performances of large-scale vocal masterworks from centuries past. Even our occasional forays into a more modern repertoire have been for major works with full orchestral accompaniment.|
But Artistic Director Marisa Crabb knew that we were capable of even more and, for our spring 2020 concert, planned a program that blended more traditional fare (Gabriel FaurÃ©’s Requiem and his Cantique de Jean Racine) with shorter pieces that would perhaps take us out of our musical comfort zones.
For that portion of the concert, Crabb turned to Peter Sicilian, a Tri-Cities Opera veteran who parlayed his performance training and experience into a career teaching and coaching at both Binghamton University and SUNY-Broome. COVID-19 shut down the 2020 rehearsals, but, fortunately, Sicilian was again available for this year.
“It’s always been my intention to do this sort of performance in which we do different types of music,” Crabb said, adding that she had long wanted to work with Sicilian. She said Sicilian has a different approach to preparing singers, including a wide variety of vocal exercises, that would “make the choir stronger.”
Sicilian will conduct Seal Lullaby by Eric Whitaker, Prayer of St. Francis by Allen Pote and Hosanna, Hosanna by Glenn Burleigh, all with piano accompaniment, and the a cappella Shenandoah, arranged by Derric Johnson. The unaccompanied Shenandoah and the gospel-style Hosanna are particularly new ground for some of the chorus members, but Sicilian has helped the choir rise to the challenge.
Crabb describes Sicilian as both a longtime supporter of Downtown Singers and as a friend and TCO colleague of her late husband, DTS co-founder Alan Crabb.
“Downtown Singers is such a mainstay in the community. From the time of Alan in the ’80s to the present day with Marisa, I have always looked forward to their spirited performances, and I am thrilled to step in front of this group of amazing musicians and be some small part of this musical powerhouse of the Southern Tier,” Sicilian said.
Sicilian, who also serves as music director/organist at the Church of the Holy Family in Endwell, received his bachelor music degree from Syracuse University and a master’s in music with an opera specialization from Binghamton University. He is a former artistic director of Tri-Cities Opera.
|Bill Snyder interviewed Marisa and Peter about our upcoming concert. Please use this link to listen to the interview.|
|For more information, see:||https://wskg.org/faures-requiem-is-paired-with-contemporary-works/|
|Marisa and Peter were interviewed by WBNG to promote our upcoming Spring concert. Use this link to see the interview.|
|For more information, see:||https://www.wbng.com/2022/05/31/binghamton-downtown-singers-orchestra-perform-spring-concert/|
We are excited to announce that we are offering online ticket sales for our June 4th concert through our new website. Go to www.downtownsingers.org/tickets and click on the “Buy Tickets” icon. For your convenience, tickets may be purchased with a credit card, or you may send a check. Tickets purchased with a credit card may be printed immediately. Tickets purchased with a check may be printed using the link in your confirmation email once payment has been received.
You can also purchase tickets by leaving a message at 607-875-4371, by emailing email@example.com, or by contacting any choir member.
For questions about purchasing tickets online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to see you June 4th!
|For more information, see:||www.downtownsingers.org/tickets|
BCAC ANNOUNCES OVER $261K FORThe Broome County Arts Council (BCAC) announced $261,059.00 in 2022 United Cultural Funds (UCF) to 21 local artists, arts organizations and community non-profits - a substantial increase from the number of awards granted in 2021. Applicant statistics in Broome County reflect a nationwide picture: a greater number of medium and large arts organizations sought deeper levels of grant support to counteract loss of revenue due to COVID lockdown in 2020. However, more individual artists and small arts organizations seemed to demonstrate a renewed faith in the recovery of the Arts by launching fresh, new programs. “Altogether, this paints a very positive picture of creativity and economic recovery through the Arts in Broome County,” says Deb ColÃ³n, BCAC Board Chair. In the next several months, look for virtual writing workshops, events, and publishing opportunities, a production of the musical The Bridges of Madison County, a Haudenosaunee Festival, a ceremony and celebration for Twelfth Night, an urban farm mural, and much more.
2022 UNITED CULTURAL FUND (UCF) RECIPIENTS
2022 UCF General Operations awards were granted to Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, Bundy Museum of History and Art, Discovery Center of the Southern Tier, Endicott Performing Arts Center, Goodwill Theatre & Firehouse Stage, LUMA, Roberson Museum and Science Center, and Tri-Cities Opera. 2022 UCF Project awards support the work of thirteen individual artists and smaller, community arts projects with Grants of $1000 each. 2022 UCF Project recipients included the following: The Center for Gender, Art, & Culture, the Kopernik Society of Broome County, the Vestal Museum & Coal House, Binghamton Community Orchestra, Binghamton Downtown Singers, The Binghamton Poetry Project, Binghamton Theater Organ Society, Cornell Cooperative Extension, First Presbyterian Church, Jenna McIntosh,The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton, The Nanticoke Valley Historical Society of Maine, NY, and SRO Productions. Additionally, Broome County Arts Council received 15% of UCF Campaign totals, reserved for BCAC’s general operations & programming.Major donors whose charitable gifts helped make UCF grants possible include: the Stewart W. & Willma C. Hoyt Foundation, Broome County Government, the Dr. G. Clifford & Florence B. Decker Foundation, the Miller S. & Adelaide S. Gaffney Foundation, IBM, Eugene & Judith Peckham, Columbian Financial Group, NBT Bank, Mediabrush Marketing, Sentry Alarms, Chianis & Anderson Architects, Dr. Pamela Smart, Visions Federal Credit Union, and other local businesses and individuals who believe in the value of arts investment.
Since 1987, the Broome County Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund has distributed over $11 million to the Arts in Broome County, while serving over 100,000 residents. UCF grantees typically return $3-$4 million dollars to Broome County’s economy, annually. The economic impact of revenue loss due to COVID has been hard-felt in the Arts community since March of 2020, but with an 18 month recovery period predicted (AFTA, 2020), United Cultural Campaign funding continues to be especially critical to the health and vitality of our County. As ever, we are grateful for the generosity of all who supported the recovery and sustainability of the Arts in Broome County with their donations.
|The Binghamton Downtown Singers are pleased to announce the program for our Spring 2022 concert. Our Spring concert will feature Gabriel Faure's Requiem. According to good-music-guide.com, "Faure's Requiem is unique. The anguish, loss and horrors of Death and Judgement Day are left by the wayside. Faure concentrates on the true meaning of the word "Requiem", or "rest". His Requiem is about peaceful acceptance and release, and the music is serene, elevating, comforting."|
We look forward to sharing this unique requiem with you in the Spring.
|The Binghamton Downtown Singers are pleased to announce the launch of their new and improved website. The new website includes interactive public pages where visitors can subscribe to our mailing list, see upcoming performance details, learn about the choir's rich history, and even learn how to join the choir and share our joy of music. In addition, the choir can now accept donations by credit card for the convenience of our patrons.|
Please take a few moments to explore!