During 10 seasons, from 1996-97 through to 2005-06, Julian Wachner set the Providence Singers on a path to unprecedented achievements in repertoire, musical growth, audience development, critical acclaim and artistic collaboration. Guest appearances with jazz legend Dave Brubeck at the Newport Jazz Festival and in Lincoln Center, subscription concerts with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Newport Baroque Orchestra and other organizations have marked the Providence Singers' growing reputation throughout the region.

In 2003-04, the Providence Singers expanded its programs to include an educational program for high school students. Founded collaboratively with the Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Junior Providence Singers is now a 15-week intensive choral training and performance program administered by the Providence Singers at the Philharmonic's Carter Center for Music Education.

The Providence Singers takes the lead in bringing new choral works to the Rhode Island community. In 1998, the Providence Singers commissioned and premiered Wachner's Sometimes I Feel Alive (selected as first prize winner in the 2000 Boston Choral Consortium Composition Competition and in the 2001 Cambridge Madrigal Singers Competition); offered the world premiere of Providence composer Elaine Bearer's Magdalene Passion in 1999; commissioned and premiered a major new choral/orchestral work, Proud Music of the Storm, by Carlyle Sharpe on November 3, 2001; commissioned and premiered Trevor Weston's Ma'at Musings in 2005; premiered Dave Brubeck's The Commandments in 2005; and in 2006 premiered Julian Wachner's Jubilate Deo (commissioned by Patricia Fuller, Singers Board Chair), for triple chorus and children's choir a cappella. The latest commission, Tarik O'Regan's Where All Is Buried, will have its premiere in November 2009.

The National Endowment for the Arts selected the Providence Singers to host one of seven American Masterpieces Choral Festivals in 2007. This included a weekend of choral music and workshops. As part of that weekend, the Singers and their guest choral organizations presented the world premieres of three newly commissioned works.

The Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island honored the Providence Singers with its 2008 Jabez Gorham Award which recognizes outstanding arts/cultural organizations in Rhode Island for unwavering commitment to excellence, significant impact in the community, and successful organizational development.

The Providence Singers' first CD recording, Lukas Foss: The Prairie, was released in 2008 on the BMOP/sound label. A second CD, Dominick Argento: Jonah and the Whale, is scheduled for release in November 2009 also on the BMOP/sound label.


Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | November 13, 2009

News and Press

[CD Review] Second Inversion names Lou Harrison: La Koro Sutro Album of the Week

“Old Granddad” sounds like something you might ask a bartender to mix up, but it’s actually what you get when you manipulate scrap metal, trash cans, and oxygen tanks into a percussion instrument played with baseball bats. Given its resemblance to a gamelan it is often also referred to as an “American Gamelan,” but I think we can all agree that “Old Granddad” is a much cooler name. It was built by Lou Harrison and his partner William Colvig and is heard throughout Harrison’s Suite for Violin with American Gamelan and La Koro Sutro.

Second Inversion Full review
[Concert Review] A congress of noise convened in Jordan Hall

The human desire to produce a loud noise by striking one object with another must be as old as communication itself, and like all histories, it has its high points and lows. The period between the two world wars, for instance, was a very good time for the art and science of banging. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project reminded us of this fact on Friday night with a memorable concert that was in equal parts ambitious musical event, cultural time warp, and sonic magical mystery tour.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] With hammer and feather BMOP goes percussive

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project has been all over the news for the promise of hearing the Boston premiere of the near-original version of George Antheil’s Ballet mécanique, which it delivered under the direction of Gil Rose at Jordan Hall on Friday the Thirteenth. About that more later, but the real story of this concert was the variety of sound and expression of which percussion ensembles are capable.

The Boston Musical Intelligencer Full review
[Concert Review] Big Bang: music of Antheil, Varèse, and Harrison

This performance earns a near perfect score for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) It’s not often that we hear George Antheil’s notorious Ballet Mécanique, partly because it is scored for sixteen synchronized player pianos. Back when Antheil wrote it, there was no way these speedy automatons could be synchronized; but now, in the electronic age, they can be. And they were. While this performance featured only eight player pianos, they effectively produced the intense sound Antheil could only dream about.

Stylus Full review