We've been introducing our "Gypsy.." program to our faithful and friendly Bay Area audiences for the last two weekends. They responded ( pretty much the way the people in France, Germany, and Italy did when we sang it there in August) with great enthusiasm to the many new arrangements on the program -
notably Ben Jones' arrangement of Villa-Lobos' Bacchianas Brasilieras #5 with a solo by Cortez,
Brian Hinman's arrangement of Swing Down Chariot, Stop and Let me Ride ( a homage to the gospel quartets of the 1920's), Nana by de Falla and My Ship by Weill arranged by Jace Wittig, and two barn burning folk song arrangements - Niska Banja ( in Serbian - our first time in this language) arranged by Evan Price and Jarba, mare jarba arranged by Stacy Garrop. As well as Four Old Hungarian Folksongs arranged by Bela Bartok. There are works sung as they were composed by Palestrina, Byrd, Victoria, Morley, Gesualdo, Poulenc, Ligeti, Sametz, and Rautavaara. A diverse selection of songs illustrating the gypsy spirit in all of us.
Tomorrow we leave for Sweden where we will tour for the first time in 10 years, and we're very excited about it. Ending with an appearance at the Lund Festival, the tour will take us to Orebro, Arvika, Vasteras, Krokom, Jonkoping, Stockholm and Vara. We will have learned to pronounce all of those properly
by the end, and we'll be happy to cross paths in Lund with Ragnar Bohlin, one of our two Guest Music Directors this year who will be in charge of our Christmas program, and in Stockholm with Fredrik
Sixten whose work will be represented on that program. Big Swedish year for us!