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Release Date: May 31, 2012



Opportunities abound for amateurs and professionals to participate


NPR Music and Make Music New York are inviting choral singers and the public to participate in the world premiere of a new choral arrangement from composer Philip Glass, taking place on Thursday, June 21 at 6:30 pm at Father Duffy Square, which occupies the northern triangle of Times Square. The event is a highlight of Make Music New York, which presents hundreds of free, outdoor concerts each year on the first day of summer.

Glass’s short piece is called The New Rule and features text by the medieval Sufi poet Rumi. It was commissioned in honor of Philip Glass’s 75th birthday this year. The SATB choral arrangement is adapted from material from the composer’s 1997 “digital opera” Monsters of Grace. Noted conductor Kent Tritle will lead the chorus, as he did for last year’s MMNY sing-along choral project, “Mass Appeal Mass.”

“We’re thrilled to be part in this event,” says Anya Grundmann, NPR Music Director and Executive producer. “Philip Glass’s work has come to mean so much to an incredibly wide variety of music fans. One large part of our mission here at NPR Music is to help people discover great music across all genres; another is to bring artists and audiences closer together in new and surprising ways, whether that’s online, via the radio, or in live events. Having the public be part of this world premiere is a perfect fit with our mission.

“We are also very honored,” adds Grundmann, “that Kent Tritle – one of America’s leading choral conductors – will be leading The New Rule. Kent is a great force for choral music not just in New York but across the country, and we’re delighted that he will conduct this world premiere.”

“From Broadway to the Brill Building, Times Square has been at the heart of American music and creativity for over a century,” said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance. “We are honored to have Make Music New York join our 10th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration with the premiere of “The New Rule”, and to celebrate the 75th birthday of Philip Glass, whose music and art perfectly match the edge of his hometown, New York, and Times Square.”Singers (amateur or professional) who would like to take part in the premiere of The New Rule will be able to download the score at NPR Music. Singers should arrive by 6:30, warmed up and ready to sing. The premiere at Times Square will be videotaped and recorded. The hour-long program will also include movements from J. S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

Simultaneously with the Glass premiere in Times Square, the teen new music ensemble Face the Music will be playing selections from Glass’s Glassworks in a “block party” in front of the group’s home, the Kaufman Center on W. 67th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave., starting at 6:30 pm. The program will also include music by Steve Martland and Lev Zhurbin.

Other Make Music New York events just announced spotlight the festival’s stunning musical diversity.

In Brooklyn, one and all are invited to join the Lafayette Inspirational Ensemble as it leads a Gospel sing-along parade through the streets of Park Slope. The parade will gather at 6:30 pm at Washington Park (5th Ave and 4th Street, Brooklyn), and proceed to the Prospect Park Bandshell, inside the park near 11th Street and Prospect Park West. The event will culminate in a 7:30 concert by Gospel sensations Latice Crawford and Mary Mary, presented as part of Celebrate Brooklyn’s annual summer series in the Bandshell.

Composer Wendy Mae Chambers’s KUN is scored for 64 baby grand toy pianos played by 64 toy pianists performing music composed utilizing the I Ching. The performance will last from 4:30 pm until sunset at 8:31 pm, with pianos arranged in yin/yang pairs, covering the expanse of Pier 15 and Pier 16 at the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan. Listeners are invited to wander at will through the various piano stations, experiencing the composition in an almost infinite variety of configurations. Performers will include several luminaries of NYC’s indie-classical scene, including Missy Mazzoli and Lorna Krier of Victoire, Vicky Chow of the Bang on a Can All Stars, Tristan Perich, Beata Moon, Evelyn Luest, and David Friend.

Mass Appeal Guitar, part of MMNY’s annual series of concerts for massed groups of a single instrument, takes place in the South Plaza of Union Square. Guitarists of all skill levels are invited to convene at 4 pm for mini-lessons to prepare for a concert at 5:30, featuring classic (and soon-to-be classic) rock songs by Bob Marley, Oasis, America, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, and Adele. The event will be capped by a 6 pm concert by guitar hero Alex Skolnick, whose work spans jazz, the metal band Testament, and the acoustic world music duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela. Mass Appeal Guitar is sponsored by Guitar Center, Guitar World Magazine, NYC Guitar School, and the Union Square Partnership.

As with all Make Music New York events, these concerts are free to the public, no tickets required. Further information on Make Music New York is available at www.makemusicny.org.

About the Times Square Alliance: The Times Square Alliance works to improve and promote Times Square - cultivating the creativity, energy and edge that have made the area an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life for over a century. Founded in 1992, the Alliance keeps the neighborhood clean and safe, promotes local businesses, manages area improvements and produces major annual events including New Year's Eve, Solstice in Times Square and Taste of Times Square. As the custodians of Times Square, the Alliance works every day to improve the quality of life for the neighborhood residents and businesses while driving economic growth in New York City.

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Aaron Friedman | (917) 779-9709 | aaron@makemusicny.org