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Seraphic Fire joins University Chorale in concert

Feb. 25, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Renowned professional chamber choir Seraphic Fire will join the Western Michigan University Chorale in concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at the First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo.

Tickets are $25 and $10 for students and senior citizens. They are available by calling (269) 387-2300 or (800) 228-9858, online at millerauditorium.com, or by visiting the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office.

The afternoon concert will feature a rare performance of Claudio Monteverdi's landmark Vespers of 1610. Upon its publication nearly 400 years ago, "Vespers for the Blessed Virgin" invigorated and revolutionized the musical world.

"The Vespers are unlike any collection of pieces written for the voice ever," says Dr. James K. Bass, director of choral activities at WMU. "The musical forces and level of artistry required for a performance of the Vespers truly make it a rarity."

Patrick Dupre Quigley, Seraphic Fire's founder and artistic director, agrees: "This really is a piece which transports our audience to a different world."

The joint performance marks the culmination of Seraphic Fire's one-week residency at WMU. As a part of the artistic collaboration, Grammy Award-winning producer Peter Ruttenberg will oversee a recording of the entire work.

About Seraphic Fire

Founded in 2002, Miami-based Seraphic Fire brings together the most talented young singers from across the country for cutting-edge concerts of rarely heard classical music. The group has garnered critical acclaim both locally and nationally. The Miami Herald dubbed Seraphic Fire "one of the best choirs anywhere," and Ocean Drive magazine credits the young ensemble with "putting a fresh, hip face on classical music."

Seraphic Fire began its career as a little-known local treasure specializing in early and new music, and quickly rose to the top ranks of South Florida's music scene. The group has performed with Miami's renowned New World Symphony, and recorded with international pop star Shakira on a track for her album "Oral Fixation II," which ultimately went Platinum.

Over the past three seasons Seraphic Fire has commissioned and premiered works by up-and-coming young composers including Matthew Barnson, Sydney Guillaume and Alvaro Bermudez. In 2005, the group commissioned a 50-minute work from 28-year-old composer Shawn Crouch, "The Road from Hiroshima: A Requiem," which subsequently was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In recognition of their efforts to promote the creation of new works, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers recognized Seraphic Fire with the ASCAP/Chorus America/Alice Parker award for adventurous programming in 2006.

Seraphic Fire has released three CD recordings to date: "Beginnings" (2005), a mix of a cappella works from its fourth season; Bach's "Six Motets" (2006), performed with one voice on a part; and a live-in-concert recording of Handel's "Messiah" (2007).

Media contact: Kevin West, (269) 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

WMU News
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