Empire City Men’s Chorus To World Premiere 2 Works At June 1 Concert

By David Salazar

The Empire City Men’s Chorus will perform on Saturday, June 1, 2019, concluding the Great Music at St. Bart’s concert series.

The performance will feature the ensemble under artistic director Vince Peterson  in a program that features a number of unique works. Audiences will get a chance to hear David Conte’s “Invocation and Dance,” the work that led to the Empire City Men’s Chorus’ founding. There will also be two world premiere recordings that were commissioned by the organization; the works will be Will Stackpole’s “Breathed Not a Word” and Lydia Jane Pugh’s “Love is Enough.”

Other composers that will be featured on the concert include Gwyneth Walker, Ysaye Barnwell, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Paul John Rudoi, John Legend & Common, and George & Ira Gershwin.

The Empire City Men’s Chorus was founded as the Gay Gotham Chorus in 1993 and now features 41 gender-identifying men of all backgrounds and sexual orientations.

“Gay men’s choruses were founded in the 1980s and ’90s as a way of using art to understand the apocalypse,” said ECMC Artistic Director Vince Peterson. “Choruses commissioned David Conte to express musically what they were thinking and feeling as AIDS decimated their communities. His work product is music, but the result is hope, beauty, and love.”