MCP presents a fantastic evening of gospel and rhythm at world-renowned Carnegie Hall featuring Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass, as well a selection of choral classics. Performed by the Masterwork Festival Chorus and professional soloists, Maestro Anton Armstong conducts Ray’s Gospel Mass for a one-night only performance.
For centuries, the world's great composers have set the Ordinary of the Mass in a wide variety of styles. Composer Robert Ray has surrounded these texts with the joyous styles of contemporary African-American music in his Gospel Mass. All six movements work collectively to form a truly powerful performance experience.
The concert will also feature the National Festival Chorus, led by Grammy Award-winning conductor Jerry Blackstone performing Byrd’s “Ave verum corpus”, Brahms’ “Der Gang zum Liebchen”, Runestad’s “Alleluia”, and more.
Maestro Blackstone served as director of Choirs and Chair of the Conducting Department at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance for 30 years. In 2006, he received two Grammy Awards ("Best Choral Performance" and "Best Classical Album") as chorus master for the critically acclaimed Naxos recording of William Bolcom's monumental Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The recent Naxos recording of Milhaud's monumental L'Orestie d'Eschyle, on which Blackstone served as chorus master, was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award ("Best Opera Recording").