Telluride Choral Society, SpringSing Features “Hope,” 3/18 & 3/20!

Telluride Choral Society, SpringSing Features “Hope,” 3/18 & 3/20!

The flowers that bloom in the spring
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Breathe promise of merry sunshine —
As we merrily dance and we sing
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We welcome the hope that they bring
Tra la…

With a wink and a nod to that catchy ditty from Gilbert & Sullivan’s 19th-century triumph,”The Mikado,” in anticipation of a Spring 2022 of new beginnings, “Songs of Hope” will be featured at Telluride’s Christ Church, 434 West Columbia, Friday, March 18, 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 20, 4 p.m. when the Telluride Choral Society presents – drumroll, live and in person – SpringSing. Tickets at the door.

Go here for more about the Telluride Choral Society.

The program is a mix of well-known and obscure music from the choral repertoire:

“I believe these pieces convey the message and intention of hope in an accessible, but profound way. I actually knew what we should be singing the moment I was asked to take on the role of Choral Society director,” said TCS director Hal Adler. “Pieces like ‘Climb Every Mountain,’ ‘Stand Up’ (from a Broadway show) and Randall Thompson’s ‘Alleluia’ literally seemed waiting to be sung when this opportunity presented itself. Supplemented by a cappella men’s and women’s pieces such as ‘We Shall Walk in the Valley in Peace’ and ‘Bright Morning Stars are Shining,’ our performance should be wonderfully uplifting. Interestingly, the theme of “Hope’ emerged through the process of identifying the music, not the other way around as might typically be the case.”

Hal Adler, more, (the multi-talented new director riffs on his robust life and diverse work):

Hal Adler

Q: Hal what about your young life growing up in Brooklyn led to your multi-faceted career, particularly your choral work, but also your coaching?

“Brooklyn and NYC are a great place to be from. I learned so much about how to make my way by being raised in and around a big city. From my earliest days though, I was more drawn to things found in quiet nature. The peacefulness and spaciousness of the woods and around the mountains have always drawn me in more than the pulse and energy of the city. Growing up in Brooklyn helped me to see this very clearly. It was just too loud with too much concrete. I’ve found music to span across the extreme duality I’ve been exposed to by both environments over time. Music has represented a reconciliation for me, a bridge to gap the tight rhythm of the city with the expanse of a mountain vista. It’s helped me to make sense of it all. In my experience, choral music humanizes it all. Of course that’s true of all music, but singing is the only vehicle for music that does not require something between a person and the sound. We are our own instruments.”

Q: You have said you were always called to the Rocky Mountains. And after living in Boulder and now Telluride, have our mountains met your expectations? Did you dream a righteous dream as a teen?

“Oh yes – from my first train ride out here at 21, these Rockies have only surpassed my expectations.”

Q: Prior to accepting the job as TCS director, what were some of your career highlights?

“Opening my own San Francisco restaurant has to count as a Top 5. In one of the most competitive food cities, getting 3 stars from the toughest of critics and having a line out the door six nights a week was one of the most satisfying (and exhausting) chapters of my life.

“Differently exciting was being asked to be global CEO of the coolest little consulting company in the world, Great Place to Work Institute, and of course starting my own Leadership Landing 14 years ago.

“On the musical front, I’ll never forget the moment I decided to bring a choir I was directing through the Herbert Howells ‘Requiem.’ I don’t know a more stirringly beautiful piece written for choir, but it’s incredibly difficult to do well. At one point, it’s 16-voice a cappella and just very very challenging. Yes, we finally pulled it off and beautifully at that. But, it did come with many a second guess about the decision along the way.”

Q: You’ve lead and/or founded a number of very prestigious choral groups. Where does the Telluride Choral Society stand in the mix?

“Every group is different of course, making it unfair to compare. While guest conducting with the Marin Symphony Choir and while leading choirs at the Boston Conservatory of Music, I had the chance to lead trained professionals, some at the height of their careers. That’s pretty special, but TCS itself has a great deal of musicality and training within it too. Most importantly, the TCS community and connection and sheer love of the music makes it incomparably gratifying.“

Q: Rhonda was beloved, but also known to run a very tight ship at TCS rehearsals – and the results showed her strict discipline worked. How would you describe your leadership style?

“Effective leaders have to find their own way to be of service. In my business of coaching executives, one of the most important tenets I work to convey is the importance of meeting people where they are. This is what I work and hope to do as I engage the amazing TCS singers. I see my goal as being the person who is here to represent what’s possible and open the path forward. My hope is that the singers would articulate their experience in rehearsals as focused, balanced and productive – with just the right amount of laughter and experience of joy. “

Q: Do you still have time for your Leadership Landing?

“Well I’d better! There are still a lot of companies out there whose executives need coaching!”

Tra la la la la…

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