All The Beauty | April 2024

by Ryan Phillips, M.M.
Music Director

What an exciting 40th anniversary season it has been for the Arizona Repertory Singers! This past fall, we welcomed our largest audiences since I began directing the ensemble, and we have loved rehearsing and performing music that is “uniquely ARS.” As you know, this season, we selected nearly all of our repertoire from our vast library in order to showcase music our singers and audiences have been delighted with during our past four decades of song.

Over the years, a few of these selections have reoccurred in ARS performances, such as Lauridsen’s Sure On This Shining Night and Stroope’s How Can I Keep From Singing? Some are newer to the choir but played a key role in our legacy, such as Elberdin’s Cantate Domino and Gibbs’ Great Day, both of which were featured as virtual choirs during our 2020-2021 season. The repertoire you will hear in this performance means a great deal to our singers, and we hope they impact you as well.

With this anniversary season, we celebrate our choral legacy and the music we have brought to the Tucson community. In addition, we are excited to share the legacy of choral music across the Tucson area, recognizing the work of other choir directors that introduces young singers to the joy of music. As part of our gala celebration. we honor Julian Ackerley and Marcela Molina, two devoted music educators who have provided musical training and encouragement to young people in our community through their leadership in the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, and the Tucson Girls Chorus. As a member of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, I learned the value of learning and understanding music at an early age. The impact of these two educators reaches people around the world, as numerous graduates of their choirs have gone on to direct their own choirs and bring music to those communities. The choral legacy of Julian Ackerley and Marcela Molina is invaluable.

We also look to the future of ARS as our choral legacy continues. In the fall of 2022, we sang There is No Rose, a breathtaking piece by Seattle composer, Melinda Bargreen. When we began discussing a commission for our anniversary, she immediately came to mind. We were thrilled that she was able to compose For All the Beauty set to a beautiful text she had just written which would perfectly complement our occasion; it seemed as though our match was meant to be! We are excited to premier this piece for you and welcome the composer to our performance where her work will be brought to life.

I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting our ensemble and choral music in Tucson. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to bring our 40th anniversary season to life in such a meaningful and impactful way. We hope you enjoy the food and drink, the raffle, and most importantly, the music!