Final Two Winning Composers Announced

January 29, 2024 (St. Paul, MN) – The Singers is pleased to announce that the final two winners of the 20th Anniversary composition contest are Remel Derrick and Roger Zare. The winning works were selected by blind review of judges Dr. Katherine Chan, Dr. Merrin Guice Gill, Jake Runestad, and Dr. Jonathan Talberg. Over 110 composers from around the world submitted scores for consideration in this program. Isaac Lovdahl, the other winner of this call-for-scores, had his work The Lamb premiered by The Singers in December 2023.

Remel Derrick‘s The Windowsill of Heaven sets a text attributed to Thomas Blake (1597-1657) and will be premiered on March 23 and 24 as part of The Singers’ My Soul’s Repose concerts (Minneapolis and St. Paul). Remel currently resides in Abilene, Texas, where he is Associate Director of Choirs at Abilene High School. See Remel’s bio and additional works here.

Roger Zare‘s winning score, Invocation, sets an evocative text by Margaret Galvan and will be premiered on Sunday, May 5 in Mahtomedi, MN as part of Windows and Mirrors: 20th Anniversary Finale. Roger is an Associate Professor of Music Composition and Theory at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. See Roger’s bio here.

To purchase tickets to these upcoming concerts, click here.

Community Sing 1/28/24: Justice Choir Songbook

Join us for our FREE Community Sing on Sunday 1/28! This 60-minute event features songs from the Justice Choir Songbook, as well as a short performance from The Singers. The House of Hope Presbyterian Church plays host as part of their Sunday Series. We hope to raise our voices with yours!

Sunday, 1/28/24, 2:00 pm – The House of Hope, 797 Summit Avenue, St. Paul MN 55105

Presented with the support of The House of Hope and the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation.

Dale Warland named Honorary Director

The Singers are delighted to announce that legendary conductor Dale Warland has graciously accepted the title of Honorary Director for The Singers. “It means a great deal to me to have Dale’s ongoing support of my work, and the work of the entire Singers’ organization,” says Artistic & Executive Director Matthew Culloton. “The board was thrilled when Dale said yes, and his backing of our music making and mission is invaluable.” Dale Warland joins American composer Morten Lauridsen as The Singers’ Honorary Directors.

Check out our new Resources page!

Enjoy access to our complete concert repertoire lists, premieres list, video library, and every concert program book we’ve printed, organized by season.

First Call-for-Scores Winner: Isaac Lovdahl

The Singers is pleased to announce that the first winner of the 20th Anniversary composition contest is Isaac Lovdahl. His setting of The Lamb (poem by William Blake) was selected by blind review of judges Dr. Katherine Chan, Dr. Merrin Guice Gill, Jake Runestad, and Dr. Jonathan Talberg.

The Singers are especially excited to premiere this work as Isaac is a former member of the choir!

To learn more about Isaac Lovdahl, visit www.isaaclovdahl.com.

To purchase tickets to the What Sweeter Music concert, click here.

Audition for The Singers’ 20th Anniversary Season!

2023-2024 Audition Materials and Info is now posted. Deadline: MAY 12, 2023.

NEW RECORDING: “COME TO THE WOODS”

THE SINGERS AND CONDUCTOR MATTHEW CULLOTON RELEASE COME TO THE WOODS, A NEW RECORDING OF AMERICAN CHORAL WORKS ON ARSIS AUDIO LABEL 

Media Contact: Janette Davis, Executive Director (jdavis@singersmca.org / 651.917.1948)

SAINT PAUL, May 21, 2022 – The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists (“The Singers”) announces the release of Come to the Woods, a new recording of music by Dominick Argento, Jake Runestad, Moira Smiley, John Corigliano, and Samuel Barber. Artistic Director Matthew Culloton conducts The Singers alongside pianist Stephen Swanson and guest soloist Alma Neuhaus. This is the ensemble’s first record release on the Arsis Audio label, long connected to the recordings of American music through the E.C. Schirmer Publishing Group.

“Recording some of the great American choral works by Barber and Argento and pairing them with stunning new works by Jake Runestad and Moira Smiley has been a dream of mine for some time,” says Culloton. “This whole album shows the lyrical and sonorous breadth and wide accessibility of American choral music – and listeners will deeply connect with the marriage of music and these inspiring texts.”

Mezzo soprano Alma Neuhaus is featured as a guest artist on John Corigliano’s Fern Hill. “Alma sang the most beautiful rendition of this solo,” offers Culloton, “it is the most gorgeous rendition I’ve ever heard. She brings a spirit of fresh humanity to Dylan Thomas’ poetry, drawing the listener in immediately.”

About Come to the Woods, composer Joshua Shank says: “This is impeccably programmed, performed, and recorded. It’s made me fall in love with Dominick Argento’s choral writing all over again (which is no small task) and contains what I think is hands down the best interpretation of Barber’s Reincarnations (Matt’s tempo on The Coolin is maybe the most perfect I’ve ever heard; it fixes some of the problems young Sam baked into his score). And the Moira Smiley work the album goes out on is nothing short of miraculous; the choral version of a broad, grateful smile.”

The Singers’ organization, founded in 2004, has established itself as one of the leading choirs in the United States, having premiered nearly 90 new works as part of its annual concert series. This CD is the choir’s 10th release, and their first since “Tonight, Eternity Alone: Choral Music of René Clausen.” Culloton and The Singers have appeared by invitation at The Ravinia Festival in Chicago four times, and have performed for regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and Chorus America.

Come to the Woods is available on Naxos Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and through The Singers and the E.C. Schirmer Publishing Group. 

Come to the Woods works list:

Jake Runestad: Come to the Woods

Dominick Argento: Dover Beach Revisited

Samuel Barber: Reincarnations

John Corigliano: Fern Hill

Dominick Argento: Seasons

Moira Smiley: Stand in that River 

  • The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists
  • Stephen Swanson, piano
  • Alma Neuhaus, mezzo soprano
  • Matthew Culloton, Artistic Director

Audition for 2022-2023 – Deadline extended to July 15

THE SINGERS NOW ACCEPTING AUDITION MATERIALS FOR 2022-2023

April 20, 2022

The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists, led by Artistic Director Matthew Culloton, announces auditions for the 2022-2023 concert season. The Singers share inspiring, innovative choral artistry that evolves with the changing world. The 2022-2023 season includes the following subscription series events:

OCTOBER 2022: Dominick Argento’s Walden Pond, Adolphus Hailstork’s Nocturne, and other works reminding us of the inspiring beauty of nature – and why we must work harder to save it!

DECEMBER 2022: What Sweeter Music: Christmas with The Singers is one of the Twin Cities’ beloved holiday traditions. Familiar carols and hot-off-the-press works make for a melodic and celebratory concert experience.

MARCH 2023: My Soul’s Repose: Music of Bach & Pärt features a collaboration with organist Aaron David Miller. Enjoy the musical and spiritual contrast of these two composers, one of whom employs a lot more notes than the other!

MAY 2023: Mars & Venus II: Music for Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus brings back a concert concept that audiences loved wildly a number of years ago. In addition to hearing our choir split in two, enjoy a few out-of-this-world moments from Timothy Takach’s HELIOS.

The Singers organization strongly encourages audition submissions from minority group members, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and anyone who can add to the artistic merit and vision of The Singers!

The Singers’ Mission

The Singers deliver compelling and thought-provoking performances and educational opportunities that can bridge cultural differences and invite appreciation of the choral art.

Our Core Values

These values will guide The Singers’ organization as it brings its mission and vision to life:

Excellence
Respect & Openness
Collaboration
Courage
Passion

Learn how to complete this spring’s online audition application at:

www.singersmca.org/about-us/auditions

Application deadline is July 15, 2022 at 5 PM.

THE SINGERS TO PERFORM CRAIG HELLA JOHNSON’S MASTERFUL ORATORIO CONSIDERING MATTHEW SHEPARD

“This modern-day Passion will move many listeners to tears even as it reaches beyond tragedy to peace, understanding, and forgiveness.” – Chicago Tribune

SAINT PAUL – April 6, 2022 – The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists under the direction of Artistic Director Matthew Culloton, will bring the powerful story of Matthew Shepard to life with performances of Considering Matthew Shepard, May 8 at St. Andrews in Mahtomedi and May 15 at Ted Mann on the University of Minnesota Campus. 

The oratorio composed by Minnesota native, Craig Hella Johnson tells the true story of Matthew Shepard, a young gay student in Wyoming who was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die. This powerful work masterfully uses song, narration, and video, to move audiences through the details of the event, arriving at a place of forgiveness, acceptance and in the end, love.

“Matt Shepard and his story have led me on an inspiring, challenging and deeply meaningful journey that I continue to this day,” says Johnson. “In composing Considering Matthew Shepard I wanted to create, within a musical framework, a space for reflection, consideration, and unity around his life and legacy,” Another Minnesotan native, Poet Michael Dennis Browne, co-wrote the libretto with Johnson. Additional texts are drawn from Lesléa Newman’s collection of poetry “October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard.” Elliot Forrest created the moving video and a small orchestra will accompany this production.    

“Bringing this piece to life, one that is musically intricate and challenging, but also carries a powerful message of tragedy as a force for change is vital for healing that still takes place today,” says Culloton, “I knew programing this piece would be an important reminder, as well as a mirror for issues that remain prevalent even 20 years later.”

A panel discussion will directly follow each performance with some very special guests and surprise moments for the audience, including members of Minnesota’s One Voice Mixed Chorus. The Singers are grateful to Rick and Linda Glasgow’s eLJay Foundation for their generous support of this production and The Singers.  

For more information on tickets and The Singers, please visit www.singersmca.org or call (651) 917-1948.  This concert will be performed under the health controls set by each venue. 

Considering Matthew Shepard:

Sat 05.08.22, 3:00p | St. Andrew’s Lutheran, Mahtomedi

Sun 05.15.22, 3:00p | Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota*

*ASL Performance

About The Singers:

The Singers, Minnesota Choral Artists is a 40-voice professional choir dedicated to giving world-class performances of the finest choral literature. Formed in 2004 and led by Artistic Director Dr. Matthew Culloton, The Singers is nationally recognized for their musical excellence, innovative programming, and commitment to new music.

Now in its 18th Season, The Singers have premiered and commissioned nearly 80 new works by composers including Stephen Paulus, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Timothy Takach, Linda Kachelmeier, Abbie Betinis, Jocelyn Hagen, Joshua Shank, Craig Carnahan, and conductor Matthew Culloton. The 10th CD recording, Come to the Woods, was released in the fall of 2021.

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