Choral Practise | 1 November 2020

From 29 October to 1 November 2020, the Archiv Frau und Music hosted an online conference on choral music by women composers. The contents of 1 November 2020 are available on this page.

The fourth choral day went into rehearsal! Mary Ellen Kitchens (Archiv Frau und Musik) interviewed U.S. composer Karen Siegel, who has created numerous choral works, as well as compositions intended for “remote choirs” making use of online livestreaming or video conferencing. In Here I Am and her new work Meditation, Karen Siegel works with the latency and delay so typical of online platforms: “Here I Am is my gift to the choral community, and is dedicated to all who are quarantined or isolated during this pandemic.” In addition to Karen Siegel, composer Alberto Arroyo shared his experiences with music and digital worlds. The interviews were conducted in English.

1 November 2020, 3 pm:
Interview with composer Karen Siegel and composer Alberto Arroyo lead by Mary Ellen Kitchens (in English), 30:17: Interview Alberto Arroyo.

The finale was a digital choir rehearsal with the Wohin? ensemble, a project choir from Marburg under the direction of Mareike Hilbrig, as well as the Munich International Choral Society with Mary Ellen Kitchens. This rehearsal showed that music by female composers can still be kept alive and performed together even in times of physical distancing. The main work of this rehearsal was Erna Woll’s (1917–2005) choral cycle Wohin ich immer reise (Wherever I Travel), in which she set poems about evacuation and loss of home by Mascha Kaléko (1907–1975) to music. By singing this work, the theme of the digital choral days #ChangeOfPlace was once again impressively demonstrated.

Das Marburger Erna-Woll-Ensemble ‘Wohin?’

1 November 2020, 4 pm:
Digital choir rehearsal with the Wohin? ensemble (Marburger ProjektChor, conductor: Mareike Hilbrig) and the Munich International Choral Society (conductor: Mary Ellen Kitchens).

A big thank you goes to Meggie George, Charlotte Bösling, and Frank Wagner for working on the videos of the choirs for the digital choir rehearsal!

Rehearsal recording Wohin? ensemble Marburg: Frank Wagner 2020. Theater recording: Charlotte Bösling, excerpt from Home is where the Heart is by Rolf Michenfelder 2019, Theater neben dem Turm, Marburg. Rehearsal recording, MiCS and editing: Meggie George 2020.

With a focus on choral practice, one of the aims of the Archiv Frau und Musik was to highlight the difficult situation faced by choirs during the Corona pandemic. Throughout 2020, Chorzeit: The Vocal Magazine collected videos of choirs which dealt with the difficult situation in particularly creative ways. You can find a playlist of the videos via the Archiv Frau und Musik’s YouTube channel, or click directly here:

The Archiv Frau und Musik gratefully acknowledges this event’s sponsorship by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, by the Digital German Women’s Archive, and by its media partner Chorzeit: The Vocal Magazine.