The Tiffany Series is proud to present an LGBT Choral Celebration on Sunday, April 3 at 3:00 pm. and an organ concert by acclaimed organist Frederick Swann on Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. All concerts take place at Brown Memorial. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
During the April 3 choral concert, three outstanding and diverse ensembles will perform: Baltimore’s New Wave Singers, Washington’s Potomac Fever, and Philadelphia’s SheWho. In this spectacular concert the groups will perform individually and then come together to sing several works as a mass chorus. A reception will follow the concert.
The New Wave Singers just celebrated its 30th year as a musical community of LGBTS [straight] people in Baltimore. Directed by Adam C. Koch, this very popular 40-member group gives two major concerts a year and performs choral works ranging from contemporary pieces, spirituals, folk and classical music to jazz.
Potomac Fever is the 14-voice a cappella close harmony ensemble of the much larger Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, whose mission is to delight audiences and champion gay equality with robust artistry, fun and surprise. Potomac Fever’s songs are varied within the “close harmony” genre, and sometimes include vocal percussion, the lush chords of Stephen Sondheim, or the intentional (and striking) discords of Imogen Heap. Potomac Fever has sung at both the White House and Vice President’s residence; their last White House performance was on the very day that the Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality.
SheWho is a feminist women’s vocal ensemble from the Philadelphia area that for the past 15 years has sung songs celebrating women, expressing diverse experiences of spirit, and promoting social change and justice. (The name “SheWho” comes from Judy Grahn’s poems evoking a goddess/female figure.) This 14-member group has performed at women’s festivals, as part of the Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert Series, and throughout the Philadelphia area. Their first CD was nominated for an OUTMUSIC award for Outstanding New Recording by Chorus or Choir.
Frederick Swann’s program on April 24 has special resonance for Brown Memorial. In addition to works by composers J.S. Bach, César Franck, Healey Willan and Seth Bingham, he will play “Invocation” by Richard Ross, Brown’s organist and choirmaster for many years following Virgil Fox’s tenure at the church.
Swann also has a strong connection with Virgil Fox himself: he worked with and ultimately succeeded the celebrated organist at the Riverside Church in New York City, serving as organist and director of music at Riverside from 1966 to 1982. Subsequently, Swann held a similar post at the Crystal Cathedral in California. During his 16 years there, millions of people in more than 165 countries saw and heard him play the organ on televised weekly services. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif.
Frederick Swann has presented recitals worldwide; recent European tours included special appearances at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and Passau Cathedral in Germany. He played at Brown Memorial in May 2009, accompanying the Chancel Choir’s performance of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.”
Swann served as president of the American Guild of Organists from 2002-2008.