Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh Announces Virtual Global Choral Traditions

By Francisco Salazar

The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh has announced Global Choral Traditions, a live, interactive, virtual exploration of choral music from around the world.

The Choir will offer four sessions of Global Choral Traditions featuring experts from Gospel, Appalachian, Bulgarian, and South African choral traditions and they will teach participants about what makes each style unique, as well as about the elements they share as branches of choral music.

The virtual series begins January 2021, with a new session each month through April. The first session on Jan. 13 will feature Lonnie Norwood and will focus on Gospel Music. The second will take place on Feb. 3 featuring Suzannah Park as she teaches about Music of Appalachia while the third session on March 3 will feature Elitsa Stoyneva Krastev diving into Bulgarian Folk Singing. The final session on April 10 will showcase Bongani Magatyana as she relates Traditional South African Music.

All sessions will be live and since Magatyana will be teaching from South Africa, his session will be in the morning, to accommodate the time difference. Each teaching artist is a culture-bearer of the tradition they will be presenting.

In a statement, Music Director Matthew Mehaffey said, “This series gives us an opportunity to explore the rich diversity of choral music and learn about choral traditions that are very different from what MCP and other symphonic choruses typically perform. At a time when a global pandemic has disrupted many of the ways we’re used to coming together, Global Choral Traditions gives music lovers a way to engage with that which makes us more human, and therefore, more connected to each other.”

The Global Choral Traditions is hosted by the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and the Oratorio Society of Minnesota in collaboration with Village Harmony, a nonprofit organization with activities around the world welcoming singers of all colors, creeds, ethnicities, nationalities, gender orientations, and socio-economic backgrounds.