Albany Pro Musica is celebrating 35 years. The 2015-2016 season ends with a joint concert with the Albany Symphony Orchestra at the Albany Palace Theatre next month.
TROY — Albany Pro Musica’s special concert event “City of Immigrants” will serve as the last book end to a three-week series celebrating the diverse community within the Capital District.
The critically-acclaimed chorus performs at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Sunday, April 3 at 4 p.m.
Albany Pro Musica’s artistic director and conductor, Dr. José Daniel Flores-Caraballo, said he conceived the concert as an homage to the area’s distinctive heritage and to the many immigrant groups that enrich and strengthen the region.
“As a newcomer to this community, I come here with fresh eyes to this place,” said Flores-Caraballo, who only just moved to the area from Florida in 2014. “To me, it has been a very exciting journey, to be able to call this place home.”
The first half of the performance, called The Immigration, includes music from many traditions, including Dutch, Irish, Italian, Hispanic, and more. The second half, entitled America, highlights a number of American composers and features the world premiere of a work by Albany Pro Musica’s composer-in-residence, Steve Murray. The concert will also include guest performances by The Musicians of Ma’alwyck, The Capital District Youth Chorale, and Saratoga Springs’ Nacre Dance Company.
“When people relocate, they’re often unaware of the tremendous cultural influence they have on the community they are embracing as their new home,” said Flores-Caraballo. “The music selected for this concert reflects our rich cultural heritage and celebrates the immigrants, both past and present, who have shaped our region’s identity.”
A three-week event series honoring the Capital District’s heritage and exploring present-day immigration issues helped build up an anticipation for Sunday’s concert. Local cultural organizations and individuals hosted events featuring guest speakers, panel discussions, art exhibits, special film screenings and more.
“Our inspiration for this festival grew out of a deep respect for the rich cultural heritage of our region,” said Karen Hitchcock, board president of Albany Pro Musica. “We hope to highlight the important contributions of immigrants to our region and the needs and challenges faced by present-day immigrants. We thank the many participating individuals and cultural organizations for helping Albany Pro Musica to tell the story of immigrant groups that have shaped our region.”
The “City of Immigrants” festival is sponsored by Bank of America, and has benefited greatly from the input and support of an advisory committee including: William Kennedy, Len Tantillo, The Honorable Jack McEneny, Robert Bullock, Rex Smith, Matthew Bender, Miriam Trementozzi, Karen Hitchcock, and José Daniel Flores-Caraballo.
“At Bank of America, we believe that arts matter: they’re a powerful tool to help economies thrive, educate and help individuals connect across cultures,” said Jennifer MacPhee, Bank of America’s Albany and Hudson Valley market president. “We have partnered with Albany Pro Musica to celebrate the rich heritage of the Capital Region.”
For concert tickets and more information about this special performance and the full schedule of events, visit http://www.albanypromusica.org/city_of_immigrants/.
“I am very proud to call this place home,” said Flores-Caraballo. “I have found it to be extremely beautiful. And, I find the history of this place fascinating and inspiring. So, with this event, I hope has shown others to reencounter that feeling for hope for this place. To celebrate with pride the uniqueness of the Capital Region. To me this goes well beyond the music. Not only to celebrate who we are, but to regain that sense of pride for this place that I, now, am so proud to call my home.”
Albany Pro Musica is revered for its mastery of intimate a cappella works and large-scale choral repertory with orchestra. Highly regarded as a world-class chorus with national and international performance credits and honors, APM has been named the Chorus-in-Residence at the University at Albany (SUNY) and at the historic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. The Chorus, now in its fourth decade, is proud to be the region’s leader for ambitious, compelling choral projects.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.