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They’re Trying to Wash Us Away

Delighted to report that our regular Cary Boyce was among five composers selected from a field of 128 entries representing 35 states to participate in the May 2007 Essentially Choral reading session–an annual program co-sponsored by American Composers Forum and VocalEssence with the support of the Jerome Foundation.  Essentially Choral provides an opportunity for emerging composers from across the country to develop their skills in writing for choral ensemble. The selected composers are:

Cary Boyce (Bloomington, IN): “The Magi”
Kitty Brazelton (New York City): “Love, I Know, Beyond a Doubt”
Gao Hong (Northfield, MN): “Coming of Spring”
Aya Nishina (New York City): “Sleeping in Dew”
Matthew Peterson (Bloomington, IN): “Miserere Mei”

Over the course of two days in May, the participants will hear their works-in-progress read by the 32-voice VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, a professional mixed chorus. Some of the works call for instrumentalists as well. In conjunction with the reading sessions, the composers will attend mentoring sessions with both VocalEssence Artistic Director Philip Brunelle and composer Libby Larsen. Seminars will also be held for the selected composers, led by Philip Brunelle, Libby Larsen and American Composers Forum staff.

One of the selected composers may also receive a $3,500 commission to write a new work to be premiered by VocalEssence during its 2007-2008 concert season.

For details and more information about Essentially Choral, visit, or call VocalEssence Director of Community Engagement Kimberly Meisten (612-547-1456,;

A requiem for Tonic in today’s Times.


Comment from James Ross
Time: April 16, 2007, 11:30 am

It’s just too sad about about Tonic. I probably heard more shows there over the last eight or nine years than any other single venue in NYC. Seating was less than ideal and they were usually out of red wine–at least when I was there–but the place always provided a funky, gritty atmosphere that was all about the artist. In short, it was a place for people who loved music.

One of my fondest memories of the place is a recent one: Seeing drummer Han Bennink ecstatically, and most musically, thrashing away at a wooden chair.
So long Tonic. See you at the Stone.


Comment from Chris Becker
Time: April 16, 2007, 12:36 pm

Comment from James Ross
Time: April 16, 2007, 2:59 pm

Thanks Chris.