Friday, January 13, 2012

PraiseMaker News (Alvin Singleton composer, Susan Kouguell, choral text

The music of Alvin Singleton and Joseph Schwantner plays a major role in the Martin Luther King, Jr. concert tributes this month in Atlanta and Alabama. The Alabama Symphony presents Singleton’s PraiseMaker on January 15, led by Fawzi Haimor.Commissioned and premiered in 1998 by the Cincinnati Symphony for the 125th anniversary of the Cincinnati May Festival, PraiseMaker is a 22-minute work for chorus and orchestra that features texts by filmmaker, poet and frequent Singleton collaborator Susan Kouguell. Fawzi Haimor conducts the event at the Alys Robins Stephens Center in Birmingham, AL - a city historically linked to the Civil Rights movement. Singleton describes PraiseMaker as a "universal, secular and celebratory" work about honoring the past. The title was inspired by the “praise singers” of Africa, who serve as the oral historians and celebrants of the traditions in their communities. A new recording of PraiseMaker was released on the recent Telarc recording The Singing Rooms, performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Robert Spano.

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