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Trinity Church Wall Street Releases Trevor Weston: Choral Works on Acis Records This Sunday, October 23

This weekend, on Sunday, October 23, Trinity Church Wall Street makes its debut on the Acis Records label with Trevor Weston: Choral Works. This is the first recording dedicated exclusively to Weston’s music, and captures his singular contribution to the Anglican choral tradition. Unusually, his music is steeped in the African-American experience, besides drawing on influences that range from Egyptian philosophy and isorhythmic motets to the vocal culture of the Gullah. Most of the works on the album were showcased in a “Composer Portrait” concert that marked a high point of Trinity’s 2015 festival, “By the Waters of Babylon: A Celebration of the Power of Black Music in America.” Like that live performance, the new recording features Julian Wachner, Trinity’s Director of Music, leading The Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street, with whom he was nominated for two Grammy Awards. They will be joined by organist Avi Stein, the Trinity Youth Chorus, and Trinity’s resident contemporary music orchestra, NOVUS NY.

Trinity will celebrate the album release with a reception at Trinity Church on October 23, immediately following the 5pm October Garden concert presented by Downtown Voices and members of NOVUS NY, which features works by Julian Wachner and Morten Lauridsen.

Weston comments:

“One of the true joys of composing is the collaborative nature of music. After I heard The Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street perform most of my choral music, I felt like I had experienced traveling in a Rolls Royce for the first time following years of driving around in a Pinto. Often composers worry about interpretation of their music by conductors and performers. With the choir performing under Julian’s direction, I had no worries. I only marveled at the ensemble’s ability to create additional levels of artful interpretation.”

Wachner adds:

“It’s such an honor to help bring Trevor’s music to a wider audience. He and I have known each other and followed each other’s careers for decades, and I have always had the highest respect for his work. Synthesizing the African-American experience with a life immersed in the liturgical choral tradition, his is a truly unique compositional voice.”

Trevor Weston’s numerous honors include the George Ladd Prix de Paris from UC Berkeley and the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A full professor and music department chair at New Jersey’s Drew University, he has been commissioned by ensembles including the Manhattan Choral Ensemble, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue Choir, Boston Children’s Chorus, Trilogy: An Opera Company, Chamber Music Charleston, and the American Guild of Organists. His music has been performed throughout the United States at such leading venues as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, as well as in France, Holland, Hungary, and Canada. Click here for more information about the composer.

Weston is a longtime friend and musical associate of Wachner. The two first met as choirboys at New York City’s St. Thomas Choir School, before reconnecting at UC Berkeley, where Weston was completing his doctoral studies. As Music Director of the Grammy Award-winning Washington Chorus, Wachner went on to commission the composer several times at the Kennedy Center. It was also he who commissioned and premiered the largest-scale work on the new album, Ma’at Musings (2005). Described by Weston as “an exotic musical fantasy using elements of concert music, African music, and Hip Hop,” the four-movement piece was inspired by texts from ancient Egypt.

Also heard on Trinity’s new recording are Messe Ancienne (2000), an homage to late Medieval and early Renaissance polyphony; Weston’s original settings of the definitively Anglican Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (2001); Ashes (2002), his “empathetic musical response” to 9/11; Rivers of Living Water (2003), in which he “uses perpetual motion over static harmonies to represent large bodies of ‘living’ water”; his short motet My Heart Hath Trusted in God (2003); O Daedalus, Fly Away Home (2006), which draws on Gullah vocal traditions, complete with clapping and foot stomping; Given Sound (2007), a modern madrigal in which Monteverdi meets jazz and new music; and Truth Tones (2008), which was commissioned to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Together with social justice and reconciliation, education, strengthening neighborhoods, and feeding New York City’s hungry, music is one of the key ministries provided by Trinity Church Wall Street. The Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street and its sister ensembles have released recordings on the Naxos, Musica Omnia, VIA Records, and Avie Records labels. Besides scoring a Grammy nomination for Handel’s Israel in Egypt, The Choir has collaborated with composers Du Yun, Paola Prestini, Ralf Gawlick, and Elena Ruehr, and may be heard under Wachner’s leadership on the recent recording of Julia Wolfe’s 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning and Grammy-nominated work, Anthracite Fields.

About Trinity Church Wall Street

One of the oldest and most vibrant Episcopal parishes, Trinity is located in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District, where it has created a dynamic home for music ministries. Serving as director of Trinity’s Music Program – as well as principal conductor of The Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street, the period-instrument Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and contemporary-music ensemble-in-residence NOVUS NY – Julian Wachner also oversees all liturgical, professional and community music programming at Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel. Music at Trinity ranges from large-scale oratorios to chamber music, and from intimate a cappella singing to jazz improvisation. Many concerts at Trinity are professionally filmed and webcast live at The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer is Rector of Trinity Church Wall Street and the Rev. Phillip Jackson is Vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street.

High resolution photos can be downloaded here.

Trinity Church Wall Street presents Trevor Weston: Choral Works

Label: Acis Records
Release date: October 23
The Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street
The Trinity Youth Chorus
Avi Stein, organ
Julian Wachner, conductor

Given Sound (SSATB)
Rivers of Living Water (SATB, organ)
My Heart Hath Trusted in God (SATB)
Truth Tones (SSA, children’s chorus and cello)
Magnificat (SATB, organ)
Nunc dimittis (SATB, organ)
O Daedalus, Fly Away Home (SATB, children’s chorus)
Ashes (SATB, SATB soloists)
Ma’at Musings (SSAATTBB, percussion)

  1. The King Joins the Stars
  2. Complaint Tapestry

III. The Wisdom of Intef

  1. The King Feeds on the Gods

Messe Ancienne (SATB)
Sanctus and Benedictus
Agnus Dei

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© 21C Media Group, October 2016

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