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Choral Chameleon

New York, NY            

2019-2020 is our 12th Season

Founded in 2008 by Vince Peterson, Choral Chameleon is changing the way people experience and define choral music through our self-produced programming and our education programs, and is an organization sought out by producers and artists in search of open-minded and adventurous singers.

Some of the experiences we’ve created include:

  • ‘Taste’: a concert where mouthfuls of food were curated by a talented chef to be eaten at specific moments in the music
  • ‘Follow Me’: a walking concert through Central Park where each part of the program was built around the history and architecture of each bridge
  • ‘Story Time’: a concert in a props warehouse in Williamsburg with shadow puppetry and projections.
  • Staged large-scale oratorio productions with puppetry, dance and more

We are firm believers that cutting-edge and technically challenging New Music can, and should, be presented more frequently alongside music of many genres, and our singers are expert at navigating across idioms of classical, jazz, spirituals, indie-pop and musical theater in the service of presenting music that together speaks to the human condition.

Emerging composers and conductors are close to our hearts, and in our 12-year history, we have offered 5 year-long composer residencies.  Our most recent Composer in Residence is Dale Trumbore.  Previous Composers in Residence are Jeffrey Parola, Joseph Gregorio, Adam Ward and Rex Isenberg

Choral Chameleon has been running an annual week-long Summer Institute in Brooklyn for composers and conductors for the past 9 years. At our Institute, composers go from a sketch to a fully-realized public performance with professional choir within a space of 8 days and are encouraged to take risks. A number of the premiered works have entered our repertoire, allowing us to expose this work to a larger audience.

In 2012 we expanded our performing roster from the professional core chamber Ensemble (currently 12 voices) to founding a larger Chorus of auditioned avocational singers, which is now a force of 50+  with the Ensemble members at its core.  Both Ensemble and Chorus enjoy exploring the boundaries of choral performance.

A detailed timeline and more of our concert programming and commissioning history are all available on our website at www.choralchameleon.com

In 2019, our first album release ‘Goshu Ondo Suite’ by jazz composer Eri Yamamoto, was released on AUMFidelity label and is available on all major platforms and CD. Watch a film about the project in our media samples below.

Guest appearances have included: 

  •  Taylor Mac ‘A 24-Hour History of Popular Music’ at St Ann’s Warehouse – role-playing a disapproving Temperance Choir – Fall 2016
  • Opera America’s ‘New Opera Showcase’ at The Town Hall presenting readings of 4 newly-commissioned operas – Jan 2017
  • Sxip Shirey – experimental choral installation ‘The Gauntlet’/ Caroline Polachek – arrangements for live voices interwoven around her new album of sine-wave compositions / Opera director R.B. Schlather – Philip Glass ‘Madrigal Opera’

Awards and Residencies:

2018 Founder Vince Peterson wins Chorus America Louis Botto Award for Innovation Action & Entrepreneurial Zeal in the professional choral art

2018-2019 Chorus attains 2nd Place in American Prize in Choral Performance Community Division

2018 Ensemble residency at San Francisco Conservatory of Music for Biennial Composition Competition

2017-2018 Group in Residence at National Sawdust, Brooklyn, NY

2015 ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming in contemporary choral music

‘There Once Was..’ by Angelica Negrón – 8 minutes – Live video recording

We commissioned this angular and highly rhythmic and vivid pieces to the poetry of Edward Lear in 2011 for a concert ‘The Choir Electric’ – which featured music written entirely for choir and electronics. This film is from our 2015 show at Acme Studios in Williamsburg where our Ensemble presented an entire evening of music brought to life with projections, puppetry and shadow theatre, through collaboration with stage director and puppeteer Liz Ostler. Featuring Angelica herself accompanying us on accordion.

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‘Goshu Ondo Suite’ by Eri Yamamoto – Project Film

In Fall 2018, New York’s Choral Chameleon Chorus collaborated with jazz pianist and composer Eri Yamamoto, to bring to life ‘Goshu Ondo Suite’, her new, hour-length piece for choir and jazz trio at the Paul Taylor Dance Company Studios in Manhattan. The event culminated in a dance party encore with audience and choir dancing together!

The piece was recorded live and was released in November 2019 on AUMFidelity label, with a great reception from the jazz community to date: https://www.choralchameleon.com/recordings.html

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Footnotes to a History of Music – Dale Trumbore

Choral Chameleon Ensemble premiered the first work from Dale Trumbore as Composer-in-Residence in October 2018 at St Barts in Manhattan.

Set to poetry by Kristina Marie Darling.

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