On Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 4:00 p.m., the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center presents Grammy Award-winning choir, The Crossing, with conductor Donald Nally in the Leighton Concert Hall. The program features David Lang’s extraordinary Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, the little match girl passion as well as Howard Helvey’s O lux beatissima, David Lang’s make peace, Caroline Shaw’s Her beacon hand beckons, Louis Andriessen’s Ahiana Weeping, Gabriel Jackson’s Yes, I Am Your Angel, and Ted Hearne’s What It Might Say.
Recasting Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the suffering and death of a homeless child in the form of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, David Lang’s the little match girl passion compares the Little Match Girl’s experience to that of Jesus, elevating her sorrow to a higher plane. Like Bach, Lang interpolates the reactions of the crowd and statements of shock and remorse, placing the audience inside the action. Setting the stage are a series of short commissioned pieces, including David Lang’s spare and shimmering make peace, a setting of the Jewish prayer of mourning. This Presenting Series concert is made possible by the Marjorie O’Malley Sacred Music Series.
The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its over seventy commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.
With a commitment to recording their commissions, The Crossing has 15 commercially-released recordings. Their collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), was the winner of the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance and named one of The Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Classical CDs of 2016. Their recording of Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer (Albany, 2016) was nominated for the 2017 GRAMMY as Best Choral Performance. Additional recordings have been released on Innova, Cantaloupe, and Navona Records.
The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forums’ 2017 Champion of New Music. The Crossing’s 2014 commission Sound from The Bench by Ted Hearne was named a 2018 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. They were the recipient of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, as well as the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award (with composer Joel Puckett) from Chorus America.
Donald Nally is responsible for imagining, programming, commissioning, and conducting at The Crossing. He is also the director of choral organizations at Northwestern University where he holds the John W. Beattie Chair of Music. Donald has served as chorus master at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has also served as music director of Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, chorus master at The Chicago Bach Project, and guest conductor throughout Europe and the United States, most notably with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, the Philharmonia Chorus (London), the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and the Latvian State Choir (Riga).