Meet the Conductors
Donald Nally is responsible for imagining, programming, commissioning, and conducting at The Crossing, the Grammy-nominated, internationally recognized new-music choir in Philadelphia. He is also the John W. Beattie Chair in Music and director of choral organizations at Northwestern University. He has held distinguished tenures as chorus master for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Spoleto USA, The Chicago Bach Project, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has served as artistic director of the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati and the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia. He is the only conductor to have two ensembles receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music - in 2002 with The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, and in 2015 with The Crossing.
"As we move into the 21st century, we are increasingly bombarded with media distractions that desensitize to the Other. Not all of us, but many of us. We have this insecure feeling of belonging and not belonging at the same time—somehow knowing that the online communities are false. We go to football and baseball games and we become a part of a team and we are comforted in joining into root for something, even though, that too is ephemeral and fleeting. The real and the not real crashing against each other. Arrive at Millennium Park on a crowded night in July and you can achieve a wonderful feeling of belonging, or not. It may be on this given night the crowd magnifies your aloneness, your fear of the Other, your self-obsession and that of Others.
crowd out asks questions about all this through works: 'I do not waste my words.' The 'I' is everywhere; it starts every sentence: 'I feel so alone I could cry.' As it is in crowds, every thought begins with the "I" - the individual maintaining a sense of self yet being transformed by becoming a part of something else. For me, it's a fragile piece; it's delicate, which is an amazing artistic achievement, when you consider it is for 1000 people."
Tim Munro is a Chicago-based, triple-Grammy-winning musician. His diverse work as a flutist, speaker, writer and teacher is united by a single goal: to draw audiences into an engrossing and whimsical musical world. Born in Brisbane, Australia, Tim was the flutist and co-artistic director of the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird from 2006 till 2015. Tim’s solo performances are “captivating”, “bravura”, “charismatic”, “brilliant” (The New York Times), “engrossing” (Chicago Tribune) and “brilliantly clear and beautifully balanced” (Sydney Morning Herald). He memorizes his solo repertoire, leaving him free to add a theatrical dimension to his shows. Tim made his New York solo debut in November 2016 at Miller Theater with "a display of instrumental dexterity that was staggering” (Seen and Heard International).
"crowd out is thrilling. Thrilling to perform, thrilling to hear live. We are one thousand voices, drawn from all across the city of Chicago, joining as one in song and speech, expressing joys, fears and terror, sharing thoughts that we might keep private. 'I...am...alone!' we shout together, in perfect unison. 'I feel like rushing into tears' we sing, to a heartbreakingly beautiful tune. We will each have very different experiences of the piece, because crowd out asks us to consider our feelings about an individual's place in society. But we are all are equal and welcome and supported in crowd out, whether we have never sung in public, or whether we have performed all our lives. David Lang's work allows us to stand up and have our voices heard."