Santa Fe Desert Chorale Summer Season - SantaFe.com
Professional singers of Santa Fe Desert Chorale.

Experience the beauty and power of world-class choral music in the heart of Santa Fe.

Sweet music is in the air, as Santa Fe Desert Chorale celebrates its Summer Season with songs to excite, engage, and inspire.

Made up of 24 professional choral singers from across the country, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale has been making beautiful music since 1982, but this summer’s program promises to be the best yet.

The Desert Chorale’s 42nd Season ushers in another exciting summer with its annual Summer Festival, one of the nation’s largest choral events, scheduled from July 14th to August 3, 2024. This year’s Festival will showcase three innovative concert series: Songs of the Americas, Out of This World, and The Great Romantics.

Additionally, the Festival will feature a special afternoon of exceptional solo performances by three Chorale vocalists during the Artist Spotlight Recital on July 31st, 2024. To cap off the year, the Chorale artists will reconvene in Santa Fe for their beloved Winter Festival, presenting Carols & Lullabies: A Rose in Winter.

About the Santa Fe Desert Chorale

Under the direction of Artistic Director Joshua Habermann, who has led the group for over 15 years, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s versatile repertoire spans seven centuries, from early polyphony to contemporary works. In choosing which pieces to include, Habermann uses a very organic approach. Sometimes it centers on a certain piece of music, sometimes he’ll be thinking of a theme and will find music to fit that theme. In all cases, he is looking for something that has a larger human connection. First and foremost, he has said, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale seeks to connect people through music, no matter what their level of interest.

Photo credit: Tira Howard Photography

The Best in Choral Music

The choir itself is one of the few professional choirs in the country, composed of some of the best singers in the world of choral music, from all across the country. In fact, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale Summer Festival is one of the largest and most anticipated choral events in the country.

“Our singers can sing basically anything written for voices, which makes the Santa Fe Desert Chorale very unique,” says Marketing & Communications Manager Joanna Armstrong. “A lot of professional choirs focus on a certain genre or time period, but we sing the entire spectrum of music available for the human voice. There really is something for everyone.”

Photo credit: Tira Howard Photography

2024 Summer Festival Programs

Songs of the Americas

A resounding collection that spans centuries and continents, this season offers a sonic exploration like no other. Sixteen accomplished Desert Chorale artists, supported by a chamber orchestra and percussion, delve into the profound legacy of 17th and 18th century music from both North and South America. Audiences will enjoy the lively melodies and profound harmonies of pieces composed by Latin American Baroque musicians. These historic works will be complemented by selections from Frank La Rocca’s contemporary Mass of the Americas, a piece that skillfully weaves together the “tones of Western church music with those of traditional Mexican folk songs.” First performed in 2018, this acclaimed “pillar of modern liturgical music” (Mark Nowakowski) blends lyrics in Spanish, Latin, and Nahuatl (the native language of the Aztecs).

Out of this World

Discover this celestial collection of transcendent contemporary choral music. During an evening that promises to elevate listeners to new heights, the twenty-four professional Desert Chorale artists will perform a range of celestial and extraterrestrial choral pieces. The program spans classical masterpieces to beloved tunes by Dolly Parton and more, offering something captivating for everyone. Featured in this interstellar journey are cherished selections from their album The Road Home, alongside two world premieres. Firstly, the Desert Chorale’s Commissioning Club tasked composer Daniel Knaggs with creating Harmony of the World, a piece that examines the connections between musical harmony and the “celestial harmonies” of the planets, drawing on the insights of famed astronomer Johannes Kepler. Additionally, in collaboration with Chicago a cappella’s HerVoice competition and mentorship program for emerging women composers, the Chorale is proud to debut a piece by winner Andelena Jackson from Hagerstown, MD.

The Great Romantics

Exquisite German masterpieces that will resonate deeply with your emotions await you in this program. The lush harmonies, sweeping melodies, and heartfelt poetry of the German Romantics invite listeners to a captivating musical experience. Highlighting this event are significant works by Johannes Brahms, flanked by a sublime collection of vocal chamber music from Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann, featuring several Desert Chorale artists as soloists. These pieces profoundly explore the depths of human feelings through both lyrics and music. The twenty-four professional Desert Chorale singers, accompanied by piano, masterfully present a spectacular array of compositions from these stalwarts of the Western classical tradition.

Artist Spotlight Recital

The professional singers of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale excel not just in ensemble performances but also as soloists! Desert Chorale artists Harrison Hintzsche, Michael Jones, and Savannah Porter join forces for an art song recital featuring collaborative pianist Nathan Salazar at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, offering a cozy atmosphere for the event. Take an early leave from work and indulge in an afternoon of deep poetry and uplifting melodies.

2024 Summer Festival Concert Dates

All concerts will be held at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Fras of Assisi (unless otherwise noted)

Songs of the Americas — Sunday, July 14th at 4 pm

  • Out of This World — Sunday, July 21st at 4 pm
  • The Great Romantics — Thursday, July 25th at 7:30 pm
  • Out of This World — Friday, July 26th at 7:30 pm
  • Songs of the Americas — Saturday, July 27th at 7:30 pm
  •  The Great Romantics — Sunday, July 28th at 4 pm
  • Artist Spotlight Recital — Wednesday, July 31st at 4 pm St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
  • Songs of the Americas — Thursday, August 1st at 7:30 pm
  • The Great Romantics — Friday, August 2nd at 7:30 pm
  • Out of This World — Saturday, August 3rd at 7:30 pm

Note: Pre-concert lectures to be announced at a later date.

For more information about the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and its mission, visit their website.

This article was posted by David Salcido

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