The New York-based Manhattan Concert Chorale enters the community of choral performance as a one-of-a-kind professional choir dedicated to outstanding performance, education advocacy, and proactive arts administration. Manhattan Concert Chorale serves as ensemble-in-residence with Manhattan Concert Productions and is housed in its own rehearsal facility in midtown Manhattan. One half of the chorale roster is filled by full time members engaged for their singing and administrative skills. The other half are New York professional singers who bring a wide variety of personal and performance experiences to enrich the fabric of collaborative outcomes.
Manhattan Concert Chorale presents an historical spectrum of choral masterworks large and small, in addition to contemporary literature and the premiere of new works. The chorale currently features the work of Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo who serves as composer-in-residence with Manhattan Concert Productions. The musical celebration of Christmas, For Unto Us A Child is Born, features two movements of Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass and his Tota Pulchra Es. Dreamweavers, a 30-minute work for chorus, piano and string orchestra will be premiered by the chorale at Carnegie Hall in May of 2013.
In addition to New York performances, Manhattan Concert Chorale will appear in venues throughout the United States, with a performance scheduled at Orchestra Hall in Chicago in March of 2013. Following that performance, the chorale will lead a master class for Chicago area high school choirs. In addition to its own performances, the chorale will serve as mentor and collaborator with choirs from across the United States who gather in various New York residencies under the auspices of Manhattan Concert Productions to perform at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
The chorale is joined in For Unto Us a Child Is Born by professional instrumentalists selected from the larger New York City Chamber Orchestra, orchestra-in-residence for New York performances by Manhattan Concert Productions for over a decade.
The Manhattan Concert Chorale and Chamber Orchestra are conducted by Music Director, Craig Arnold. Dr. Arnold has had an extensive career as conductor of choirs and orchestras of all ages; educator of graduate, undergraduate, high school, and middle school students; guest lecturer for teacher and conductor training; and frequent guest conductor of workshops, festivals, and all state choirs across the country. Having recently completed a tenure as Director of Choral Activities and Conductor of the internationally renowned Nordic Choir at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, he is currently the Chairman of Manhattan Concert Productions, a New York City-based production company he founded in 1999.
In addition to Luther College, Dr. Arnold previously served as Director of Choral Activities at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He has high school teaching experience from positions in Iowa and Minnesota, and music ministry experience from serving on church staffs in Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio and Michigan.
Arnold’s education includes a doctorate in conducting from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY; a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.
Choirs under his direction have performed at state, regional, and national conventions, toured throughout the United States and abroad, and produced numerous CD recordings. The national broadcast of Christmas at Luther 2008 with Arnold as Artistic Director received a regional Emmy award. The University Chorale from Western Michigan, under Arnold’s direction, won first prize at the prestigious international choral competition in Wales.
Dr. Arnold serves as frequent guest lecturer and conductor having appeared in Japan, England, Scotland, Germany, France, Italy, Wales, Hong Kong, China and Spain, as well as most of the states in this country.
The collaborative keyboard artist for this performance by the Manhattan Concert Chorale and Chamber Orchestra is Colin Fowler. Colin Fowler began studying music at the age of 5, growing up in the suburbs of Kansas City. He continued his training at Interlochen Arts Academy, studying piano with James Giles and organ with Robert Murphy. He received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, studying piano with Abbey Simon and organ with Gerre Hancock and Paul Jacobs.
Although a classically trained musician, he has performed in numerous Broadway productions, including 42nd Street, Jersey Boys and In the Heights. He has been a professor of music at NYU and Nyack College, and is currently the pianist for the Mark Morris Dance Group Music Ensemble, touring across the world. He is also the organist at Calvary Baptist Church and Park Avenue Synagogue.
Colin has performed in many of the world’s leading halls, and has collaborated with Deborah Voigt, James Galway and the American Brass Quintet, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.