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A dynamic conductor, an accomplished musician, and an experienced teacher, Ms. Peck's reputation for selecting interesting, harmonically rich music and for creating captivating performances has helped Charis gain a devoted following among concert-goers throughout the tri-state region and in Italy, where the group toured in the summer of 1995 to perform a program of early and contemporary Italian madrigals.
Charis's reputation continues to grow, enabling the group to attract some of the finest amateur voices in Westchester County.
Charis was invited to appear several times with Philharmonia Virtuosi, a Westchester-based orchestra directed by Richard Kapp. The group was featured in Philharmonia Virtuosi's 1993 and 1994 Holiday Festivals at SUNY Purchase, where Charis performed the complete Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes as well as selected holiday music. Charis also participated by invitation in:
Our musical focus is centered in exploring the rich choral tradition of the Catholic Church through a variety of excellent performance experiences. The Festival Choir membership includes auditioned singers from more than thirty parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
The advancement of vocal ensemble music
There's a lot of ensemble singing going on in the tri-state area. But you'd be hard-pressed to know that by looking at the general media. Opera and pop singing get decent coverage, but ensemble singing--professional and avocational--gets short shrift. Yet, thousands of people in and around New York are involved in singing, for money or for pleasure (and in many cases, both). Vocal Area Network aims to provide a focus for all this activity--a home for vocal ensemble music, where singers and singing groups can find each other, free of the clutter of other cultural and avocational diversions.
The New York City area
Vocal Area Network focuses on vocal ensemble activities in and around New York City, including the five boroughs; Long Island; Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley; northern and central New Jersey; and southern and western Connecticut. We welcome visitors from around the city and around the world.
About the vocal ensemble community
A "vocal ensemble," in our view, is a group of musicians whose primary instrument is the human voice. Although voice is the primary instrument of the vocal ensemble, it need not be the exclusive instrument. Today, the term a cappella has been stretched, sometimes ambiguously, beyond its original meaning of "without instrumental accompaniment." The "vocal ensemble" label, however, applies comfortably whether a group performs unaccompanied (in the traditional sense of a cappella) or with instruments. Vocal Area Network prefers the term "vocal ensemble" because it is both inclusive and flexible. If a group has a least one singer, it probably qualifies as a vocal ensemble for our purposes.
The "vocal ensemble community" includes professional and avocational singers (individually and in groups of all sorts), along with the audiences and organizations that support them. Though this community is clearly large and active, its visibility is often overwhelmed by the maelstrom that is the New York music and culture scene. Vocal Area Network aims to remedy that situation, in the near term through its menu of information and service offerings and in the long term by creating a physical home for vocal ensemble music.
About VAN services
Today, we deliver focused information services for the vocal ensemble community in and around New York City via our web site at www.van.org. These information services include:
The web site is hosted and managed by Steve Friedman, Founder and President of Vocal Area Network. A lifelong resident of New York City, Steve managed to escape for four years to get a BA in Music from Yale in 1982. Since graduation, he has gamely resisted the temptation to make music his full-time focus, instead opting for a tenuous balance amongst technology, ensemble singing and Vocal Area Network. He currently sings with the St. Michael's Choir, a ten-voice professional ensemble on the Upper West Side, and the 92nd Street Y High Holidays Choir. Steve was a founding member of the Douglas Frank Chorale, a ten-voice professional ensemble, and sang on the group's well-received recording of The A Cappella Singer; He has also sung with the male sextet Angelus, The Dessoff Choirs, The 92nd Street Y Chorale (and its successor groups, The Mannes Chamber Singers and Cantabile), Cerddorion, The Yiddish Chorale, and The Concord Symphonic Choir. He was a founding member of the vocal ensembles Pieces of Eight and The Usual Suspects, for whom many of his vocal arrangements were written. Hes been a frequent participant in The Western Winds vocal ensemble workshops, where more than a few of his works have received their debut performances. He founded Vocal Area Network in 1995. VAN made its web debut in March, 1996. PANIX graciously provides web-hosting services for Vocal Area Network.
© 2009, J.F. Kelley & MusicMan.Net (TM)