Philadelphia classical music events, discussion, and directory
Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia welcomes the Philadelphia Master Chorale and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Chancel Choir in the 3rd annual BIG SING on Wednesday evening at 7 PM, July 25 at the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia. This is a concert where everyone can hear the music being sung all around them as the audience sings along with nearly 200 members of three choruses distributed throughout the church. In keeping with the community nature of this year’s BIG SING, the musical portion of the evening will be followed by an ice cream social sponsored by Turkey Hill Dairy.
Speaking on behalf of Mendelssohn Club, Executive Director Janelle McCoy explained the BIG SING concept, “BIG SING has become our most popular engagement initiative. We remove the traditional barrier between performers and listeners and have the chorus and audience sit together while everyone in the hall performs a choral masterwork together.” McCoy added, “The physical arrangement of singers sitting next to audience members enables the audience to experience the music from the inside out. Audience members have compared the experience to being enveloped by cinematic surround sound where you can literally feel the music vibrating all around you.”
This year’s BIG SING will explore the music of the Korean and African Episcopal traditions as a way to help build a cultural bridge between two distinctly different communities. The Philadelphia Master Chorale is a new chorus made up of Korean American singers. The St. Thomas Chancel Choir is one of the city’s oldest and most renown African Episcopal choirs. Prior to the BIG SING, both choruses will each teach a work from their repertoire to Mendelssohn Club, including a Korean folk song and a Thomas Lloyd piece based upon a combined spiritual and camp meeting experience. Everyone attending the BIG SING will receive music for the entire program so they can…if they want to…join all three choruses in singing the shorter choral works and the Schubert masterwork, Mass in G.
The 2012 BIG SING //Schubert program is supported by a major $25,000 PNC Arts Alive grant funded by the PNC Foundation.