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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Renowned Yale Alumni Chorus tours Georgia this summer - performance at Tbilisi Centre for Music and Culture

"The 2011 tour will take the Chorus to Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia, June 14-28, 2011. The first concert in Istanbul will join the Chorus and the undergraduate Yale Glee Club, which is celebrating its sesquicentennial with a European tour that ends in Istanbul. The Chorus then flies to Georgia to hear the very special sounds of the traditional music of the region and perform with local choruses such as Basiani, Rustavi and Gori Women's Choir. In Armenia the Chorus will be hosted by our longtime friend Constantine Orbelian, whose intimate knowledge of the country and its music will add to the very special character of this tour."

On June 23 the renowned Yale Alumni Chorus of 220 members gave a large-scale concert at Djansug Kakhidze Tbilisi Centre for Music and Culture together with Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. Jeffrey Douma and his Georgian counterpart Vakhtang Kakhidze conducted the concert in succession. “It is always interesting to have contacts with the musicians of different nations. The visit of such a large-scale chorus is a great present for us from the US which would even deepen our friendship,” Vakhtang Kakhidze told us.

At the first part of the event Yale Alumni Chorus presented a new song which was specially commissioned for this tour called “a Dream and a Song” written by a young composer who is a student at Yale; later they sang American a capella pieces, spirituals and folksongs known all over the world. The Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra treated the audience to a Porgy and Bess Orchestra Suite composed by George Gershwin. Georgian prominent soprano Mariam Kobaliani and Jeff Rouse, Yale tenor soloist, performed Ralph Vaughan Williams’ magnificent cantata called Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace). This piece has captivated audiences all over the world presenting a vision of harmony and friendship among the nations of the world.

Prominent Georgian soprano Mariam Kobaliani performed her parts with great pleasure. “It was absolutely unexpected for me to get an invitation from Maestro Kakhidze to participate at the concert with Yale Alumni Chorus. I like the part of soprano which I am performing and I took part with great pleasure,” Kobaliani told us welcoming the pleasant atmosphere during the rehearsals. At the final stage the foreign guests performed Make Our Garden Grow from “Candide” with Yale Alumni Chorus and Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. Sharing his impressions of Georgian musicians to The Messenger Yale Alumni Chorus soloist John Rouse said “it has been a joy to work with Maestro Vakhtang Kakhidze at this magnificent concert hall”.

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