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'Volti' keeps singing during pandemic presenting new work from Danny Clay / San Francisco Classical Voice

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Volti Executive Director Barbara Heroux announced the acclaimed San Francisco vocal ensemble's 42nd season, an all-online program of free "cocktail-hour miniconcerts," streamed on 5:30 Saturday afternoons. The concerts are free but Volti is asking "patrons to consider making a donation of $25." Event links are sent after reservations are made at the website.

Volti's mission is to foster and showcase contemporary American music and composers, and to introduce contemporary vocal music from around the world to local audiences. The group has commissioned more than 100 new works, by emerging as well as established composers, winning the prestigious ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music seven times, more than any other vocal ensemble.

In the Volti tradition, the season will feature premieres from Bay Area composers Anne Hege, Danny Clay, Joel Chapman, and Pamela Z. Each composed a piece for Volti's 16 singers using various online platforms and combining live-streamed and prerecorded music.

And now, thanks to the many of you who stepped up to help fund some new music, Volti has been able to commission four wonderful composers to create music especially designed for online rehearsal and presentation.

Anne Hege and Danny Clay are both currently rehearsing their new pieces with the singers. I attend rehearsals and watch these composers weave compositional ideas and technology into something that I can see will result in very interesting performance outcomes. I watch the upwellings of creativity, the enormous enthusiasm of composers and singers, and dare I say it, love, and I come away uplifted and full of admiration for Anne, Danny, and the superb singers of Volti."

The second miniconcert, on Dec. 19, will feature a new work from Danny Clay. Drawing upon his experience as an educator creating improvisational musical activities with kids and adults alike, Clay's piece will take the format of a virtual "game show" in which members of the chorus are faced with a series of musical challenges to complete.  PHOTO: Allen Francis

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