The Irvine High School Concert Choir has been given a special opportunity to showcase its talent.
It is one of six youth choirs selected to participate in the New York City Youth Choir’s Radio Radiance program, which gives choirs the opportunity to work with some of the country’s most distinguished composers to premiere a new work of choral music bring.
Founded in 1988 by MacArthur colleague Francisco J. Nuñez, the Young People’s Chorus was formed to highlight the work of youth choirs across the country.
Ron Chronister, the organization’s director of education, invited the Irvine High School choir because of its reputation.
Tina Peterson is the school’s choir director. “When I spoke to Ron on the phone, he spoke of the long tradition of excellence that Irvine High Choral Music has created over the years,” she said.
The other choirs selected for the biennial program are located in Hawaii, Kansas, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Washington.
Each choir selects from four pieces newly commissioned by the youth choir to celebrate its premiere in its state. As soon as a selection has been made, the choir receives a reference recording and works with the composer.
This year’s selection was “Celestial Fire” by Thomas Cabaniss, “The City” by Susie Ibarra, “Colors” by Kevin James and “WICBM” by Toby Twining. Irvine chose Cabaniss’ work.
Each choir sets the date for its premiere of “Radio Radiance” along with other performances of the piece. Irvine premieres on April 24th at the Irvine Presbyterian Church.
“Irvine High Choirs are excited to be part of this event,” said Peterson. “Supporting composers of new choral music is important to the growth of the genre.”
The organization’s founder, Nuñez, said: “I want to help young people learn and get excited about new music. These composers, many of whom are not traditional choral composers, bring new ideas and technologies to the table. You’re looking for ways to combine these elements and you want people to listen and respond. Young people are the perfect ambassadors because they are open to new sounds and new ideas. “
“Radio Radiance” is an extension of the youth choir’s program “Transient Glory”, founded in 2001, which draws attention to how children’s choirs can be a powerful instrument for the production of high-quality music.
“We would love it if the public were open to contemporary music and knew that they were listening to music by composers who could be Mozart’s and Beethoven’s today,” said Nuñez.
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