Gloriana Chamber Choir

2 Weeks to Our First Concert!

Gloriana Concert Poster 2014Two weeks from now we will present our first Gloriana Chamber Choir concert, Long Live Fair Oriana. Rehearsals are going well, and we are all enjoying spending time delving into this glorious English choral music. If you’ve never been in First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, you are in for a real treat. It is a beautiful space and will be a wonderful atmosphere for listening to this beautiful a cappella choral music. Come see and hear for yourself on Sunday, August 3 at 4:00 p.m. at Lincoln’s Church.

Check out our great concert poster above! (Thanks to Gloriana singer Abby Musgrove for the poster design.) You can feel free to post it on your webpage, FB page, tweets, emails, etc. etc. If you would like a paper copy to hang at your business, church or other appropriate location, please email us at info@glorianachamberchoir.org and we’ll get posters to you.

Go, Gloriana! Update:

We surpassed our initial goal of $100 for the first 24 hours of our flash campaign!  We have now received $655 toward our goal of $1000 by tomorrow’s rehearsal (Monday, July 21). Thank you to all who have helped us and are supporting excellent choral music in central Illinois. Only $345 to go by tomorrow evening! Are you a music lover? A friend of choral music? A friend of someone in Gloriana? Help us raise $345 in the next 24 hours. Even a donation of $10 will make a difference!

Your donations will help us spread the word about the concert and allow more people to share in this glorious music!

Go Gloriana LogoColorJoin our flash campaign to jumpstart Gloriana Chamber Choir! Our first concert is coming up soon, and before then we need your help to make this concert possible. Help us raise $3,000 by concert day, Sunday, August 3. Join us in bringing excellent choral music to a large audience in central Illinois.

We are hosting our own crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to cover our expenses and give Gloriana a great start. By doing this ourselves and bypassing the traditional crowdfunding sites (Kickstarter, et al.), we are ensuring that 100% of your donation goes to Gloriana, not to a third-party fundraising site.

All funding is good funding. Even if you can only give $5, that $5 will make a big difference to our goal. Of course, $50 or $100 or $500 will go even further! Since Gloriana is brand new, our most immediate need is to raise cash to spend on advertising, so that people will know about our concert and come share in our beautiful music. To that end, help us meet these goals:

$100 by Wednesday, July 16 (tomorrow!)

$1000 by Monday, July 21 (our next Gloriana rehearsal)

$3000 by Sunday, August 3 (our first concert)

Visit the Go, Gloriana! page to see what goodies we are offering in exchange for your support. Or, just click on the Donate button now and you are good to go!

We will update the Go, Gloriana! page and Facebook and Twitter with progress of the campaign as your donations come in. Follow our campaign and Go, Gloriana!

In Full Swing

DSC_0056 - Version 2Gloriana Chamber Choir is now in full swing. We have had three rehearsals and are on the road to a great concert. With this ensemble of excellent musicians, rehearsals have been productive and a lot of fun. We are all enjoying delving into the repertoire of wonderful English choral music. There is also lots of laughter – laughter, socializing and excellent music-making. This is why we love ensemble singing. As predicted, Gloriana is proving to be a great opportunity for the singers to share choral music with other like-minded musicians in a way that they don’t normally have an opportunity to do.

Our very first rehearsal was followed by a lunch at the Steinway Piano Gallery at The Gables in Springfield. It was a perfect way to kick off our time together this summer. We are so grateful to Susan Lutz for hosting us and letting us play her pianos, as well as for providing excellent food, drink and social time!

Bios and photos of our singers are still going up on the website. Check out the Meet the Singers page, if you haven’t done so recently. New photos and bios went up today!

Also, we have updated the Upcoming Concert page. The entire concert program is listed for you to eagerly anticipate what you will hear on Sunday, August 3 at 4:00 at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield. We can’t wait to share this music with you!

Rehearsals Begin!

On Saturday, June 28th, Gloriana Chamber Choir met for its first rehearsal and thus began what promises to be an exciting new choral venture in the Springfield area. Many thanks to board member Susan Lutz and Steinway & Sons for hosting a post-rehearsal luncheon at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Springfield!

Online Donating is Now Available

Donate via PaypalAs we prepare for our inaugural season, excitement is building as rehearsals are soon to start.  As we begin our fundraising efforts in earnest, we have now made it easy to donate online through Paypal.  This is a safe and secure way to support us, and one does not need a Paypal account to contribute.  If you would prefer to donate by check, or through some other means, please visit our Donate page for more options.  Thank you for considering a donation, and don’t forget to save the date for our first concert at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, IL on August 3, 2014 at 4:00 P.M.

Shop for Gloriana!

GiveWe have found a great way for you to support Gloriana Chamber Choir just by doing what you normally do. When you shop online, visit the websites you usually use through iGive.com. You shop and the store donates a percentage of your purchase price to Gloriana. It’s easy to sign up and there are over 1300 online retailers from which to choose. Whether you are a fan of Amazon or Ann Taylor, Lands End or LL Bean, west elm or Wet Seal, Verizon or Victoria’s Secret, ToysRUs or Turbo Tax, Banana Republic or Bed, Bath and Beyond, you will be able to find the shops you already use.

It’s easy to sign up. Follow the link. Fill out their simple form. Bookmark iGive.com on your web browser and start there whenever you shop online.

So, when you are sending last-minute flowers to your mom this weekend, do it through iGive. You can still use 1800Flowers.com or FTD, and you can support Gloriana at the same time!

What an exciting endeavor!

agneau-mystique

When I first began dreaming about this ensemble, I thought about the fact that as a conductor and professor of music, I have little time to sing myself. I love being at the podium, but my love for choral music began as a singer and I often miss the singing. I knew that there must be lots of conductors and music teachers out there who felt the same way. We spend so much time working with our church choirs, teaching our students, in rehearsal and in performance, that we are left with very little time to sing ourselves.

 With that in mind, I am founding Gloriana Chamber Choir as a summer ensemble. During the summer months, those of us who are professional choral musicians have some time away from our crazy daily schedules. Time to plan for the next year, time to recreate and recharge. My hope has been that the limited time commitment and the scheduling of Gloriana would make it appealing to other musicians. Thus far, it appears that I have indeed found a niche that needed to be filled. Response from prospective singers has been enthusiastic and many have echoed my sentiments about looking forward to the opportunity to sing and spend time with other like-minded colleagues. While I will still be at the podium, I am so excited that there are others out there who are eager to take advantage of the opportunity to be “on the other side of the baton.”

Here is a sampling of responses to the initial call for auditions:

“How exciting! …What a refreshing idea this is!”

“It has been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to sing outside of [my] own classroom and church choir. I would very much like the opportunity to sing with other professionals.”

“I would love to sing in the Gloriana Chamber Choir this summer!”

“This sounds like a great opportunity.”

 “What an exciting endeavor!”

“Thank you for the offer to join this wonderful choir…”

“I would love to participate in this!”

“Gloriana Chamber Choir sounds like a wonderful opportunity! …[I] would be so pleased to be a part of your group!”

“I would love the opportunity to audition for this ensemble!”

 “What an exciting choral opportunity! It sounds like something I would enjoy.”

Won’t you join us as well? You do not need to be a conductor or a teacher, just an experienced singer who would like to invest a few weeks in some great choral music. See our Auditions page for more information.

Why Gloriana Chamber Choir?

Queen_Elizabeth_I_by_George_GowerWho is Gloriana? What is Gloriana?

And what does Gloriana have to do with choral music?

During the triumphal reign of Elizabeth I, Gloriana was a name used to refer to the beloved “Virgin Queen.” The name comes from Edmund Spenser’s epic poem “The Faerie Queene,” which was at once a defense of Christian virtues, a reinvented history of Britain, and a song in praise of the Tudor Queen. Gloriana is the Faerie Queen herself and is clearly understood to be Queen Elizabeth. In Spenser’s poem there is assigned “to every virtue, a Knight to be the patron and defender of the same.” (From Spenser’s own description of the text.) The first mention of Gloriana appears early in Book I of “The Faerie Queene:”

            Upon a great adventure he was bond,

            That greatest Gloriana to him gave,

            That greatest Glorious Queene of Faerie lond,

            To winne him worship, and her grace to have,

            Which of all earthly things he most did crave…

(The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto I, iii)

In honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, Benjamin Britten wrote his opera Gloriana. The opera title comes from Spenser’s poem, while William Plomer’s libretto for the opera was based on Lytton Strachey’s play Elizabeth and Essex. Britten’s opera about Elizabeth I was intended to honor the new Queen and stand as an English national opera. The opera includes choral dances that are often performed as a stand-alone set of brief choral works. The third piece, “Time and Concord,” closes with “Gloriana hath all our love!” The reigns of Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II were and have been long and illustrious and have coincided with the flourishing of English choral music. Much of the most beautiful and highly regarded choral works of English composers come from the sixteenth and twentieth centuries.

Our inaugural concert on August 3, 2014 will honor the great English music of the reigns of both the Tudor Elizabeth and the Windsor Elizabeth. The program includes music from the lifetimes of both queens, with works performed at each queen’s coronation. Repertoire will include Britten’s Choral Dances from Gloriana, works by English composers Byrd, Gibbons, Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Tavener, etc. There will also be a set of madrigals from Thomas Morley’s collection in honor of Elizabeth I, the Triumph of Oriana. Oriana is another name that was used to refer to Elizabeth I during her lifetime.

The ensemble name Gloriana Chamber Choir is linked to the repertoire for our first concert. Likewise the continued focus of our performances in the future will be on works from the Renaissance and the twentieth and twenty-first century. (That being said, this will not be an exclusive focus, for who can resist Brahms’ a cappella part songs or Bach’s motets?) Ultimately, while inspired by the concert program, the name “Gloriana” seemed appropriate because the word has such a musical and song-like ring to it. As we enter the realm of Gloriana, we anticipate many years of glorious choral music to come!

Welcome!

Welcome to Gloriana Chamber Choir, central Illinois’ new professional vocal ensemble. We encourage you to join our community of singers and supporters.

Explore our website to learn about our ensemble and find out how you can get involved. Come back often as we post more information about this exciting new choral ensemble.

Join us for our concert on Sunday, August 3 at 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois.

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