Riverstones, Rails and Renaissance: A Rochester Retrospective
Granite State Choral Society to commission new music for 40th Anniversary
Grammy nominated composer, Nicholas White, to compose music that celebrates Rochester City History
The Granite State Choral Society 40th Anniversary Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Concord, NH based composer Nicholas White, to create a five-movement musical piece that will highlight historic persons, events, and landmarks of Rochester – even as it presents the steady growth and renewal the city is known for, using original text written specifically for the work. The new composition will be premiered during the Choral Society’s Ruby Anniversary Year celebration at a gala fundraising dinner concert on March 28th of 2015 with Mr. White in attendance. As only the second known registered choral society based in Rochester over the last 100 years, GSCS decided to honor the city’s history in song to celebrate their 40 years of choral performances.
The Granite State Choral Society (GSCS) held its first concert in the fall of 1974 performing Handel’s Messiah as the fulfillment of citizens’ desires to have a community chorus present in the city. With the advent of the group’s “ruby” or 40th anniversary, planning began this past June. The idea to commission music came about thanks to previous comments by GSCS member, Kris Ebbeson, owner of Kris Ebbeson Photo Journeys , who sang music specifically created for a dedication ceremony that had been composed by Nicholas White, who then directed the piece at the occasion. He was contacted and expressed great interest in working with GSCS. The Board soon learned he also had direct ties to and knowledge of GSCS’ sister city choral group in Rochester, England where he had studied organ under the Rochester Cathedral Director Roger Sayer. In 2013, while currently Chair of the Arts and Director of Chapel Music at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, he was appointed Music Director of The Boston Cecilia in Boston, Massachusetts. Nicholas White is a versatile organist, pianist and singer as well as a Grammy nominated composer and conductor and is in high demand as a composer of all types of music.
40th Anniversary Committee Co-Chairs Diane DeVries, owner of Digrafika Design, Elizabeth Tonkins-Agea are anticipating that the community of Rochester will be as excited as they are for this challenging and exciting endeavor, because, in addition to being only the second choral society based in Rochester, it will only be the second time that music has been created for and about the city. The last time was for the 1907 Rochester Fair when a march, rag and waltz were composed to celebrate the event. The GSCS Board, Interim Musical Director Dan Roihl and 40th Anniversary Committee are committed to presenting a piece that will not only celebrate the vibrancy of the city but become a lasting piece of the city’s legacy. As planning moves ahead, donor and sponsorship opportunities are now available which will permit public and private organizations as well as individuals the ability to support this contribution to Rochester’s arts and culture. Interested parties should send an email to the attention of GSCS 40th Anniversary Co-Chairs Diane DeVries or Elizabeth Tonkins-Agea via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.