By Ryan Phillips
When asked to describe the Arizona Repertory Singers in my second year as Music Director, I simply say “resilient.” It is difficult to put into words the love and appreciation I have for our singers. After all we accomplished last Fall 2019 and early Spring 2020, ARS has grown and evolved into a family. We encourage each other. We take care of each other. We sing together – regardless of the circumstances.
Arts organizations around the globe have fought to stay afloat and prove their worth. Like so many others, ARS chose to continue honing our craft in a way that was uniquely “2020.” What makes this group distinctive is our ability to drive and encourage our volunteer musicians to sing with strength and pride. Our audience knows we have a message to deliver to our wonderful Tucson community every Fall and Spring; we will simply not let go of that message of song.
With immense pride toward everyone in the ARS family, we present to you Home for the Holidays (I have to admit that I was a little giddy when I first thought of this ever-so-fitting title). This virtual choir video production has been six months in the making and proves that we never stop learning how to find innovative opportunities to sing for our audiences. Our singers overcame technological issues, the board faced new logistics and marketing challenges, and I put aside my shiny new choral conducting degree to learn audio/video production.
The repertoire you will hear comes from ARS’ thirty-seven-year history of choral music. Each piece is meant to bring the joy of the holidays safely to your living room without sacrificing the quality you expect from this ensemble. All of us are incredibly excited to share with you our journey from in-person to virtual singing. We hope you enjoy our determination to create a wonderful choral experience for you, your family, and friends as you watch and listen to Home for the Holidays.
By Ryan Phillips