The BW Men’s Chorus will offer two Holiday Concerts in BW’s Gamble Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 3 pm and 6 pm. The BW Women’s Chorus will offer a concert on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 8 pm at the United Methodist Church of Berea. Tickets are now available at bw.edu/tickets.
“No matter our differences, each member respects one another for who they are, and I think that is part of what makes our music so beautiful and meaningful.” said junior Ashley Bradley, music education major and member of the BW Women’s Chorus.
The BW Women’s Chorus and the BW Men’s Chorus are both offerings of the BW Community Music School. These ensembles include both members of the BW community and individuals from the Greater Cleveland area. Both groups rehearse on Tuesday nights and include singers of all backgrounds, careers, and stories. As these are extracurricular ensembles, members of these groups do not receive academic credit for their participation.
Directed by Frank Bianchi, adjunct professor at BW and long-time music educator, conductor, and clinician, the BW Men’s Chorus celebrated their Tenth Anniversary last season. The BW Men’s Chorus performs six concerts a year, holds various workshops and events, and hosts an annual Summer Glee Club Sing that draws singers from around the state and surrounding states.
“The BW Men’s Chorus is more than just a group of guys coming together to sing. Aside from the fact that the BW Men’s Chorus provides a high quality musical experience and education to men whose ages span over 70 years, it’s also a prime example of how music has the power to connect people in a time that has exposed a great divide amongst humans.” said Dalton Dudley, current Manager of the BW Men’s Chorus. “For me…the magic of the BW Men’s Chorus is that a group of over 100 individuals from all different ages, backgrounds, and walks of life are able to come together and make exceptional music.”
The BW Women’s Chorus is directed by Jordan Saul, associate director of choral studies and associate professor of music education at BW and a sought-after presenter, conductor, clinician, and music educator. The ensemble presents music of various styles, languages, and topics and performs concerts each semester, presenting a wide range of choral literature written especially for the female voice.
“Whenever possible, we pay homage to the strong women in our lives and other strong women around the world,” said Bradley. “This message can be found in our repertoire and how we interact with one another.”
These ensembles are built on a strong collaboration between Baldwin Wallace and the Greater Cleveland community. Central to the mission of both the BW Men’s Chorus and the BW Women’s Chorus is community development, engagement, and impact.
James Litteral, a community member of the BW Men’s Chorus, has been a part of the group for five years.
“The current field I work in is not in music. Being a community member in the BW Men’s Chorus allows me to leave all the stressors of life and work at the door and come in to this dedicated brotherhood and community and just make music.” said Litteral. “The community we have is why I stay and will continue to stay.”
The theme of community is equally as strong in the BW Women’s Chorus, said Bradley.
“These women all lead such different lives: some are students, some are working, some are retired; some have degrees in music while some can’t even read music; some have kids while some are kids,” said Bradley. “Despite their different backgrounds, they all come together every Tuesday night and make beautiful music.”