Ēriks Ešenvalds Choral Festival May 19 & 21
All Saints Catholic Church, Hayward, CA and Mission Dolores Basilica, San Francisco, CA
Valley Concert Chorale to Host Ēriks Ešenvalds Choral Festival
Bay Area University and High School Choirs to Participate
Livermore, Calif. – The Valley Concert Chorale, celebrating its 54th season as the Tri-Valley’s premier chorus, will host a choral festival featuring Ēriks Ešenvalds, Artist in Residence. The festival includes two performances where VCC will collaborate with the highly regarded choruses from San Jose State University, Cal State-East Bay, and the award-winning Mt. Eden High School. Details are as follows:
Friday, May 19, 7:30 pm
All Saints Catholic Church
22824 Second St, Hayward
Sunday, May 21, 7:00 pm
Mission Dolores Basilica
3321 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Ēriks Ešenvalds is one of the most sought-after composers working today, with a busy commission schedule and performances of his music heard on every continent.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the world of Eriks’ incredible and beautiful music, in great acoustic spaces, and with the composer present to introduce the selections to the audience,” says John Emory Bush, the Chorale’s Artistic Director. “His music benefits greatly from combining choirs as more singers amplify the rich texture he intends to create.”
For this purpose, VCC invited local high school and university choirs to participate in the festival not only to enhance the performance of Ešenvalds’ music but also for the choirs’ musical enrichment.
“High school and university choirs around the world are performing his music frequently and this festival allows our participating choirs to sing his compositions and have a personal connection with the composer. It is a thrilling opportunity for the singers and audience alike.”
Many of Ešenvalds’ compositions feature music about clouds, stars, nature and the ocean, filled with rich, lush and thick textures that create an extraordinary atmosphere of choral sound. Both concerts will be performed in large church sanctuary settings with excellent acoustics that will bring these characteristics to life for the audience.
Musical selections include Ešenvalds’ setting of Amazing Grace which is unique, ingenious, and harmoniously impressive, yet true to the spirit of the original hymn and its long history. His Trinity Te Deum is a grand and glorious piece with the addition of brass, harp, percussion and organ.
VCC President Don Plondke is excited about the festival and the opportunity to share the music with the communities of the East Bay and San Francisco.
“As a singer in VCC, I’m looking forward to the festival for a number of reasons. First and foremost is having one of the most sought-after contemporary choral composers in-residence with us to share his thoughts about the subtleties of his gorgeous music, as well as share his experiences in performance with dozens of singers of all ages. Audiences are in for a real treat.”
Tickets are $25 in advance and at the door. Advance tickets may be ordered by visiting the Chorale’s website at www.valleyconcertchorale.org, or by calling the Chorale’s information number at (925) 866-4003 to order tickets.
More information about the Valley Concert Chorale is available at valleyconcertchorale.org, or by calling the general information line at (925) 866-4003.
About Ēriks Ešenvalds
Ēriks Ešenvalds is one of the most sought-after composers working today, with a busy commission schedule and performances of his music heard on every continent. Born in Priekule, Latvia in 1977, he studied at the Latvian Baptist Theological Seminary before obtaining his Master’s degree in composition from the Latvian Academy of Music under the tutelage of Selga Mence. From 2002-2011 he was a member of the State Choir Latvija. In 2011 he was awarded the two-year position of Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. He is married with four children and gives students his expertise as composition teacher at the Latvian Academy of Music.
Ēriks Ešenvalds has won multiple awards for his work, including the Latvian Grand Music Award three times (2005, 2007 and 2015). The International Rostrum of Composers awarded him first prize in 2006 for his work The Legend of the Walled-in Woman. He was The Year’s New-Composer Discovery of the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2010.
About Valley Concert Chorale
The Valley Concert Chorale is in its 54th season as the Tri-Valley’s premier chorus. Under the direction of John Emory Bush, the Chorale has offered a variety of musical performances to serve the diverse musical tastes of its audiences.
Valley Concert Chorale’s mission is to engage audiences in the transforming power of music by sharing our passion and joy in live performance. We are dedicated to excellence in singing choral music of all genres, nurturing the next generation of singers, and supporting musical endeavors in our Tri-Valley community.
The all-volunteer, non-profit chorale receives financial support from grants, ticket sales, membership dues, and donations.
About the Director
John Emory Bush has been the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Valley Concert Chorale since 1998. He holds a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music and is also trained as a pianist, organist and harpist. He was Music Director and Conductor of the San Francisco Concert Chorale for eighteen seasons and Director of Music and Organist at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Dallas from 2000-2010. Mr. Bush is Music Director of Music and Organist at First United Methodist Church, McKinney, Texas. For the past fifteen years, Mr. Bush has divided his time between the Bay Area and Dallas, contributing to both musical communities.