Photo by Victoria Smith
This week, our Classical Californian is Luke McEndarfer, the Artistic Director and CEO of the National Children’s Chorus of the United States of America. What began as a group of 16 singers in Los Angeles has grown to an organization with more than a thousand singers, with more than 30 choirs in 8 chapter cities, including San Francisco. They’ve got a new CD out called Illumine, which we’ll be hearing a couple of selections from – as well as other choral works that made a lasting impression on McEndarfer as he was on his way to becoming a conductor. There are pieces by Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, John Rutter, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Maurice Duruflé.
He begins with an Eric Whitacre piece, Her Sacred Spirit Soars… click the play button to hear the introduction!
Then it’s on to Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music – as played by the Rochester Philharmonic.
Maurice Duruflé’s Gloria from the Missa cum Jubilo was a piece McEndarfer was introduced to by Paul Salamunovich (who recorded this with the LA Master Chorale when he was their conductor).
Next up is the John Rutter arrangement of “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” – here’s McEndarfer and the National Children’s Chorus performing it in 2017….
Then it’s the Lux Aeterna of Morten Lauridsen – specifically the 5th movement, the “Agnus Dei” with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and conductor Paul Salamunovich (you can find it in this recording of the whole work at 17:28)
Finally, a piece that (like the Rutter) appears on their new recording, Illumine. Here’s Eric Whitacre’s Glow.