Is singing choral music your passion? A Berkshire Choral International singing experience is a chance to immerse yourself in this vital art form. You’ll rehearse with and learn from an eminent conductor and a professional faculty for a week, then perform in a full symphony concert. All in an inspiring, culturally rich setting. If that sounds like heaven to you…welcome to the Berkshire Choral International family!
The 2018 Conductors
We're well into preparing for the coming season, but we are still accepting applications for most venues. If you haven't applied yet, check Openings to see what's available for your voice part, then read about the venues below!
Starting off at Goucher College (June 10-17, 2018) in Baltimore, MD, conductor Betsy Burleigh will lead choristers in Haydn's The Seasons, which will be sung in English.
Founded in 1885, Goucher College sits on 287 wooded acres eight miles from the city center. Named for its founder, the Rev. John Franklin Goucher, the co-educational liberal arts college was originally the Woman's College of Baltimore. Kraushaar Auditorium, often used by the Baltimore Symphony, will be the concert venue.
Betsy Burleigh, performing with BCI for the first time, is associate professor of choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She also serves as music director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and regularly prepares the choir for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
From Baltimore, BCI goes to Skidmore College (June 17-24, 2018) in Saratoga Springs, NY, for an audition-only week under the baton of Joe Miller. Those accepted will sing Walton's Belshazzar's Feast and Handel's Coronation Anthems, both in English. Joe Miller is conductor of two of America's most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. This will be Joe's first appearance with BCI.
Nestled in beautiful upstate New York, Saratoga Springs is a world-renowned destination with an award-winning downtown. Boston, New York, Montreal and Philadelphia are within a three-hour car ride. The beautiful 950-acre campus of Skidmore College includes the Zankel Music Center. This 600-seat concert hall will be the performance space for this very special week.
Those who auditioned successfully for Newport, RI, in 2016 do not need to audition again. Choristers who are with us this season may audition in person. Requirements for auditioning can be found at this link: Auditions 2018
From one side of the continent to the other, BCI next will land at California State University at Fullerton (July 1-8, 2018). This part of Southern California is rich with activities and wonderful weather. The beautiful park-like campus is easily accessible by air or car. Guest artists from around the world come to perform in Meng Concert Hall. BCI is excited to offer this opportunity to perform in Meng.
Rob Istad, who conducted in Sonoma in 2015, returns to lead the choristers in the Duruflé Requiem and Mozart's Coronation Mass, both in Latin. Besides his position as Professor of Music at Cal State Fullerton, Rob is artistic director of the Long Beach Camerata Singers and Long Beach Bach Festival. Beginning with the 2017-2018 concert season, Rob will succeed John Alexander as artistic director of the Pacific Chorale.
The season is rounded out with a trip across the pond to Newcastle/Durham, England (July 29-August 5). Choristers will reside in Newcastle upon Tyne at the Gateshead Hilton and perform Puccini's Messe di Gloria and Gounod's St. Cecilia Mass, both in Latin, at Durham Cathedral. Returning for the fifth time is conductor Brian Kay.
Brian Kay divides his working life between the broadcasting studio and the concert platform. For ten years he was chorus master of the renowned Huddersfield Choral Society, and conductor of the Cheltenham Bach Choir. He is vice president of the Association of British Choral Directors, and he is conductor of the Leith Hill Music Festival, which was started by the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Durham Cathedral is a World Heritage Site. A Norman building, it was built between 1093 and 1133 in the Romanesque style. Founded as a monastic cathedral built to house the shrine of St Cuthbert, it replaced an earlier church also built in his honor.
The 2018 Season at a Glance
Baltimore, MD Goucher College June 10-17
Betsy Burleigh, Conductor
Haydn: The Seasons (English)
Saratoga Springs, NY Skidmore College June 17-24
Joe Miller, Conductor
William Walton: Belshazzar's Feast (English)
Handel: Coronation Anthems (English)
This is an auditioned week. Instructions for auditioning can be found at Auditions 2018
Fullerton, CA California State University at Fullerton July 1-8
Rob Istad, Conductor
Duruflé: Requiem (Latin)
Mozart: Coronation Mass (Latin)
Newcastle/Durham, England July 29-August 5
Brian Kay, Conductor
Puccini: Messe di Gloria (Latin)
Gounod: St. Cecilia Mass (Latin)
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