NEC Chamber Singers + Erica J. Washburn: Wanting Memories

NEC: Jordan Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

Join the NEC Chamber Singers at their opening concert of the 2023-24 academic year, conducted by Erica J. Washburn, NEC's Director of Choral Activities.  Entitled "Great Music for a Great Space: Wanting Memories", the program features texts that explore myriad emotions elicited when reflecting on past events, including thoughts of days gone by, our beginnings, love lost, love remembered, and the creation of new days and memories to come.  Also sharing the podium are '24 MM students Jackie Hu, Maggie Storm, and Calvin Isaac Wamser.

The NEC Chamber Singers is an auditioned ensemble, open to all majors at NEC, which performs challenging works from all style periods, with a particular emphasis on 19th-21st century a cappella works.

From Erica J Washburn:

One of the greatest privileges that comes with being a conductor is the responsibility of repertoire programming. I am often asked, “How do you choose? What sparked the thematic idea? Where do you find music?!” Not one of these questions comes with a simple answer, as my Master of Music conducting candidates (and alumni) will tell you. In fact, we’ve had many lengthy conversations on this exact topic, and they are had, on repeat, every year.
     But I will share with you tonight the secret I share with them; How do I choose? Carefully, and with much consideration. What sparked the thematic idea? Sometimes I don’t know – it just comes to me. Where do I find music? Everywhere. Dozens upon dozens of hours go into scouring sources, connecting with choral colleagues, research, etc.
     Tonight’s concert, however, came together rather easily for me as it comes from a deeply personal place. From March 23, 2023 to August 14, 2023, I lost several very important people in my life; one of my mothers-in-law, Marianne McCarthy Gilcoine, a beloved NEC colleague, John Heiss, and my sister, Dawn Hannay Meyer.
     This program, Wanting Memories, was an opportunity for me to select repertoire that not only is brilliant in its compositional writing, but also in its poetic scope. It is a program that forces the Chamber Singers and me, as well as you, our listener, to confront memories that continue to bring us sorrow, pain, trauma, and grief. But this is also a program that has the power to bring us catharsis through memories of joy, excitement, great love, peace, and the hope of new memories yet to be made.
     It is our fervent wish that you allow yourself the space and freedom to feel all your feelings tonight, whatever they may be for you, in the exact moment you need to experience them.
     For my mother-in-law, we sing Marianne, and honor the great love she shared with my father-in-law, Richard Gilcoine, Sr.
     For John, Brent Michael Davids Zuni Sunrise Song. I believe he would have loved it.  
     And for my sister Dawn, John David’s You are the new day. Dawn was a light in this world, and to every person who had the pleasure to know her.

This is an in-person event with a public live stream

  1. Memories that haunt...

         Ysaye Barnwell | Spiritual from urban scenes...creole dreams

  2. Memories of yesteryear...

         Johannes Brahms | An die Heimat from Drei Quartette, op. 64

              Rafe Schaberg, piano
              Calvin Isaac Wamser '24 MM, conductor

         Charles Ives | Circus Band

              Rafe Schaberg, Da-Yu Liu, piano

         Eric Barnum | Jenny Kiss'd Me

  3. From whence we come...

         Cecilia McDowall | Photo 51 (2020)

              Ashley Chen, soprano soloist

         Roxanna Panufnik | 99 Words for My Darling Children (2016)

              Corey Gaudreau, narrator
              Kei Otake, cello

    Corey Gaudreau

    Corey Gaudreau is a singer and teacher who is frequently praised for his mastery of language and style, especially in French and German song. He is a member of the voice faculty of New England Conservatory Preparatory School where he also teaches language diction classes.
            Performing with opera companies throughout the United States, Gaudreau has sung and understudied a variety of leading and comprimario roles including Sid in Benjamin Brittens Albert Herring, Fiorello and Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Aeneas in Henry Purcells Dido and Aeneas, Billy Bigelow in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, Yamadori in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Masetto and Don
    Giovanni in Mozarts Don Giovanni, Alvaro in Daniel Catàns Florencia en el Amazonas, and Hannah before in the Florida premiere of Laura Kaminsky and Mark Campbells As One.
            Gaudreau was a Bonfils-Stanton Studio Artist and Apprentice Artist in two seasons with Central City Opera and Artist-in-Residence with Pensacola Opera and Opera on the James. A versatile singer with flexibility in various styles, he excels not only in opera, art song, and oratorio, but new music, jazz and musical theatre as well.  He recently sang a program of the Great American Songbook at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He performs prolifically as a song recitalist and continues to be invited as a guest artist for NEC engagements. He sang Schumanns Spanische Liebeslieder in the First Monday Concert Series and recorded Pavel Haas’Four Songs on Chinese Poetry for an NEC Liederabend.
            Corey Gaudreau has studied with Michael Meraw at NEC, Jason Ferrante, and Laura Mashburn. He has coached with Tanya Blaich, Cameron Stowe, Michael Baitzer, Warren Jones, Robert Tweten, and Kamel Boutros. Gaudreau attended the New England Conservatory where he received his Bachelor of Music degree and was a member of NEC Chamber Singers, and returned for the Master of Music program.

  4. Love lost...

         Alfonso Peduto | Soft glance from Dialogues before a Goodbye (2016)

              Haijie Du, soprano soloist
              Jackie Hu '24 MM, conductor

         North Country Folk Song (Philip Wilby, arr.) | Marianne (1983)

  5. Love remembered...

         Bosba '19 | Remember Me (2016)

              Yumeng Xing, soprano soloist
              Rafe Schaberg, piano

         Ysaye Barnwell | Wanting Memories No. 4 from Crossings

    Kira Daglio Fine, double bass
              Maggie Storm '24 MM, conductor

  6. Memories to come...

         John David (arr. Peter Knight) | You are the new day

         Brent Michael Davids | Zuni Sunrise Song
    from Native American Suite (1995)

              Andrés Almirall, Native American flute
              Jordan Fajardo-Bird, Ross Jarrell, Danial Kukuk, Lucas Vogelman, percussion

    Andrés Almirall

    Andrés Almirall, Native American flute, is NEC’s performance librarian and a multi-instrumentalist. He received his B.M. in Music Education and a Certificate in Flute Performance from Appalachian State University, and his M.M. in Historical Musicology from Florida State University. When not copying bowings or practicing his instruments, he enjoys learning new languages and cuddling with his cat, Jiji.

  7. NEC Chamber Singers

    Pitiki Aliakai
    Ashley Chen
    Anjulie Djearam
    Haijie Du
    Timothy Goliger
    Bailee Green
    Jackie Hu
    Siyu Leng
    Corinne Luebke-Brown
    Colin Miller
    Yuanwei Ni
    Nicholas Ottersberg Enriquez

    Anna Poltronieri Tang
    Rafe Schaberg
    Rachel Solyn

    Maggie Storm
    Chloe Thum
    Valentine Umeh
    Calvin Isaac Wamser
    Ying Ting Lena Wong
    Yumeng Xing
    Kerui Chris Yang
    Henri Youmans
    Honghao Howard Zheng