Save the Date for a new kind of Yale Alumni Chorus international adventure…
Spirit of Song Tour
(A “barely international” tour)
Toronto, Canada - August 9 to 13, 2017
The Yale Alumni Chorus, directed by Jeff Douma, is planning a tour to Toronto next August to explore a core part of the Yale singing tradition: Spirituals.
From Wednesday evening through a Sunday afternoon performance, experience musical rehearsals and performance, academic enlightenment, and community engagement. We’ll learn about, hear, and (of course!) sing the music of the Underground Railroad.
Our hosts and Partners
The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, a Toronto-based professional choir specializing in Afrocentric music of all styles, including classical, spiritual, gospel, jazz, folk, and blues. The Chorale’s founder (and current director) Brainerd Blyden-Taylor named The Chorale after internationally-renowned African- Canadian composer R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943), who performed at prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall and Boston Symphony Hall. Dett was dedicated to the cause of Black music, winning the Bowdoin and Frances Boott prizes in 1920 from Harvard University. Blyden-Taylor established The Chorale to draw attention not only to Dett’s legacy but also to the wealth of Afrocentric choral music, and to be a professional choral group where persons of African heritage could see themselves represented in the majority. The Chorale regularly delivers workshops on performance practice in spirituals. Check them out on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QuTAerbeGA
Scholars from the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University, which is dedicated to capturing, studying, and telling the story of the migration of African peoples around the globe, from centuries ago to the present day.
Our team of event producers, led by Mark Alberta '72, John Rouse ’72 and Brian Wynn ‘73, are collaborating with Jeff Douma, with the director of the Chorale, and scholars from the Institute to create a very special program for the Yale Alumni Chorus. To complement and inform our singing, we’ll have lectures, panels, and discussions on the history of the Spiritual, its place on the Underground Railroad, and topics such as “authenticity” in the performance of spirituals. There will be time for community engagement, and we will cap off the weekend with a Farewell Dinner on Saturday and a Galal Concert and reception on Sunday.
- Cost for all the event activities is $775 for singers, $600 for accompanying non-singers, and $150 for non-singing children. Travel to and from Toronto and accommodations are additional. Need-based financial assistance is available if you wish to apply for it.
- You will be responsible for your accommodations. YAC has arranged for blocks of rooms at hotels adjacent toour venue, at different price points. There are even dorm rooms available at the University of Toronto.
- YAC will arrange for buses for any ground transportation that may be needed during the course of the weekend.
- Rehearsals will begin on Wednesday evening, August 9.
- This is a family friendly event. Since it's summer vacation time, some of you might choose to bring your children to Toronto. However, the event producers are not planning special activities (or babysitting) for children, so someone will need to be available to supervise them.
- If you want to see the fabulous sights in Toronto, plan to extend your visit before or after the event on your own (or with some fellow Yalies!).
Click here to see who else has signed up for the tour.
Full prospectus and online registration is available for download here. Many of the songs were rehearsed at Milton on March 24-27. In addition, there will be a rehearsal in New York City on May 13 from 1-5pm. It's not only a rehearsal for Toronto but also qualifies as a Yale Day of Service!
Want to See Who's Going?
Click here to see a list of people who have signed up thus far.
15th Milton Choral Festival
Milton, Massachusetts March 24-26, 2017
For some YAC members, "Milton" is shorthand for a familiar and beloved Yale singing tradition and a great way to spend a March weekend in the Boston area. But if you are not yet familiar with this event, please read on to learn about it. The Milton Choral Festival weekend is sponsored by the Yale Club of Boston and the Yale Alumni Chorus, and was organized and hosted again this year by Linus Travers '58. It took place at Milton Academy near Boston, from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon March 24-26, 2017. Ninety-five singers participated this year. Click here to see photos from the event.
The Milton event is mostly singing, but also includes meals together, a buffet dinner at Linus's home down the street from our comfortable rehearsal space, and a 4:00 concert and reception on Sunday afternoon.
To align with YAC’s event in Toronto August 9-13, 2017, Milton’s repertoire included “Little Innocent Lamb,” “Motherless Child,” Jeff’s new arrangement of “Woke Up This Morning,” HT Burleigh's “Deep River,” Moses Hogan's “Ride On King Jesus.” and Nathaniel Dett’s “The Ordering of Moses.”
If you are already a member of YAC, you will receive email announcements of upcoming events as soon as they are announced. If you are not already a member, send an email to email@example.com providing your first name, last name, undergraduate college or university, graduation year, voice part, and preferred email address.