The Crossing to Present Two World Premieres in ‘Motion Studies’ Concert

By Logan Martell

On November 21, 2021, Grammy Award-winning choir The Crossing will continue its 2021-22 season with “Motion Studies.”

This concert will feature the world premiere of Justine F. Chen’s “Shallow Breath and Stealth,” as well as well as Gabriel Kahane’s “Choral Music.” The program will also include the premiere of the revised version of Nicholas Cline’s “Watersheds” featuring saxophonist Matthew Levy.

“Shallow Breath” is a 30-minute oratorio based on Jena Osman’s book “Motion Studies.” Her book “Corporate Relations” inspired Ted Hearne’s “Sound from the Bench,” a 2014 commission of The Crossing which was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

“Choral Music” is a scrapbook of Kahane’s time as a high school choral singer in a pre-9/11 America, coming of age and discovering the beauty and power of choral music. Cline’s “Watersheds,” first premiering in 2018, draws from the words of environmental thinkers to illustrate how shared spaces are created not by political borders, but by the flow of water.

Conductor Donal Nally will host a pre-concert talk in the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hil’s Burleigh Cruikshank Memorial Chapel, joined by Chen and Cline. There will also be a post-concert reception with the composers following the performance at Widener Hall.