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Bridges - Current Project
•The Body Singing
Bridges - Past Projects
• WomanVoice
• YouthWorks
• Verdi 200
• A Gift of Song
• Join the Dance!
• Sing On!
• Sing with Me
• Ashes Into Light
• African Voices
• Sing Me A Home
• Flour Power
• Bridges10
• Musical Chi
• Adventures of the Black Dot (revised)
• North Meets South
• Adventures of the Black Dot (Premiere)
• International Bridges
• Music & Meditations
• God's Trombones
• The Many Faces of Women
• Lift Every Voice
• Winona Choral Festival and Concert
• Service of Remembrance and Peace
• Earth Day Family Concert
• A Russian Night

Japanese choirs, Minnesota Chorale, Minneapolis Youth Chorus, and Bel Canto, photo by Diane Schroeder
photo credit: Diane Schroeder

Ashes Into Light

Bridges: Ashes Into Light The Chorale and partnering artists, all under the direction of Kathy Saltzman Romey, presented the world premiere of Ah Nagasaki in St. Paul, which since 1955 has maintained an active sister-city relationship with Nagasaki (the first of its kind in the United States). Joining the Chorale were the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Chorale's own Minneapolis Youth Chorus and the Bel Canto choir of the Allegro Choral Academy, taiko (traditional Japanese) drummers from Mu Daiko, and vocal soloists. Members of the Gaia Philharmonic Choir and Yokohama Chamber Choir "Kai" and their conductor, Ko Matsushita, traveled from Japan to take part in both the performance and the educational programs surrounding the event.

The performance and education programs were presented by The O'Shaughnessy and planet Ordway as part of their 2008-09 series, and were held at The O'Shaughnessy at the College of St. Catherine. In addition to the premiere performance of Ah Nagasaki, the concert featured individual presentations by each of the participating ensembles.

Bridges, Ashes Into Light, Kathy Saltzman Romey

Sub-titled “Ashes into Light,” the centerpiece of the program was a three-movement, half-hour cantata for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra by the American composer Robert Kyr. The work was commissioned by the Nagasaki Peace Museum to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city; the text, in both Japanese and English, is a collaboration between Mr. Kyr and the Japanese writer Kazuaki Tanahashi. The musical forces called for are large: four soloists (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone), boy and girl soprano, mixed (adult) choirs, children's choirs, chanter, and orchestra (with a percussion section that includes Japanese taiko drums as well as Western instruments). This visionary work is a journey from the profound tragedy of nuclear annihilation to reconciliation and 'waging peace' as a means of freeing the world from weapons of mass destruction.

Bridges: Ashes Into Light
Minnesota Chorale
Kathy Saltzman Romey, Artistic Director
Allegro Choral Academy, Bel Canto Choir
Gregory Douma, Conductor
Gaia Philharmonic Choir and Yokohama Chamber Choir "Kai"
Ko Matsushita, Conductor
Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
William Schrickel, Music Director
Minneapolis Youth Chorus
Patrice Arasim, Conductor
Mu Daiko
Rick Shiomi, Director

Images created by artist Kazuaki Tanahashi, librettist for "Ah Nagasaki."

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