The Princeton Region News


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Date ArticleType
4/21/2017 Member News
Westminster Choir Performs Anthracite Fields at Trenton’s Roebling Wire Works April 21 & 22





For immediate release

Contact: Anne Sears (sears@rider.edu)

(609) 921-7100 ext. 8307

 

Westminster Choir Performs Anthracite Fields at Trenton’s Roebling Wire Works April 21 & 22

Immersive performance transforms former factory into a concert hall for two nights

 

The Westminster Choir and Bang on a Can All-Stars, conducted by Joe Miller, will perform Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthracite Fields in the monumental space of the Roebling Wire Works in Trenton Friday, April 21 and Saturday 22 at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.  Purchase by calling 609-921-2663 or online at www.rider.edu/anthracite_fields.  Roebling Wire Works is located at
675 South Clinton Avenue in Trenton, NJ.

Semi-staged by Doug Varone and utilizing video projections, Anthracite Fields is a docu-oratorio about the mining industry and the Pennsylvania mining community that thrived in the early 20th century.  Coal from those mines played a vital role in Trenton's industrial success, which inspired the slogan "Trenton Makes, the World Takes."

Anthracite Fields has been described by Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed as "an unforgettably haunting, harrowing evocation of the plight of Pennsylvania's coal miners, incorporating many musical styles and effectively shadowy visuals.”

The evening will also include an art exhibit, titled Transformations, and a pre-concert talk presented by composer Julia Wolfe, conductor Joe Miller, director Doug Varone and historian and preservationist Clifford Zink.  The art exhibit; curated by ArtWorks, Trenton’s visual arts center; will be open from 6 to 8 p.m.  It explores the beauty and dignity found in post-industrial locations, such as Trenton and Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal regions. The pre-concert talk will begin at 7:15 p.m.

Setting the standard for choral excellence for 96 years, the Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College, a division of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts.  It has been the chorus-in-residence for the prestigious Spoleto Festival USA since 1977, performing both in concert and as the opera chorus.

The ensemble’s 2016-2017 season includes a concert tour of the southern United States, performances and broadcasts at its home in Princeton, its annual residency at the Spoleto Festival USA, and performances at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain.  Its performance of John Adams’ El Niño, conducted by Joe Miller, at the Spoleto Festival was praised by The New York Times as “… superb. Meticulously prepared, the chorus was remarkable for its precision, unanimity and power.”

Praised by The New York Times for its “full-bodied, incisive singing,” the Westminster Choir also forms the core of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, which has performed and recorded with the leading conductors and orchestras of our time. 

Formed in 1992 by New York’s renowned new-music collective Bang on a Can, the Bang on a Can All-Stars are recognized worldwide for their ultradynamic live performances and recordings of today’s most innovative music. Freely crossing the boundaries between classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music, this six-member amplified ensemble has consistently forged a distinct category-defying identity, taking music into uncharted territories. Performing each year throughout the U.S. and internationally, the All-Stars have shattered the definition of what concert music is today.


Together, the All-Stars have worked in unprecedented close collaboration with some of the most important and inspiring musicians of our time, including Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Burmese circle drum master Kyaw Kyaw Naing, Tan Dun, DJ Spooky, and many more. The group’s celebrated projects include their landmark recordings of Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airports and Terry Riley’s In C, as well as live performances with Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Don Byron, Iva Bittova, Thurston Moore, Owen Pallett and others. The All-Stars were named Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2005 and have been heralded as “the country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music” by the San Francisco Chronicle.


Joe Miller is conductor of two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir.  He is also director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

In addition to his responsibilities at Westminster Choir College, Dr. Miller is artistic director for choral activities for the renowned Spoleto Festival USA. His 2014 debut performance, a staged production of John Adams’ El Niño with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the Westminster Choir and an international cast, earned critical acclaim.  The Financial Times praised, “the driving minimalistic iterations of Adams’ score securely projected under Joe Miller’s direction.”

As conductor of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Dr. Miller has collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. The New York Times wrote about Westminster Symphonic Choir’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra, “Joe Miller's Westminster Symphonic Choir was subtle when asked and powerful when turned loose.”

 

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Caption:   Photo of the Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street performing Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields at Lincoln Center. The Westminster Choir and Bang on a Can All-Stars, conducted by Joe Miller, will perform this Pulitzer Prize-winning work in the monumental space of the Roebling Wire Works in Trenton Friday, April 21 and Saturday 22 at 8 p.m.