As part of its commitment to supporting new music, and music written for and by women, Voci launched a new initiative in 2014—the New Works Project—to expand the repertoire of contemporary music for women’s (treble) voices through a collaborative process. The vision of Artistic Director Dr. Anne Hege, the New Works Project brings together early- and mid-career composers, ideally from the San Francisco Bay Area, with Voci, to develop new compositions over a two-year period. The two-year timeframe is designed to provide multiple opportunities for interaction between the composer and Voci, including workshops and performances, allowing time for experimentation, feedback and revision.
In spring 2016, Voci celebrated the outcome of its first New Works Project installment, with the premiere of “On Music and Nature: Three Hopkins Settings”—a suite of three commissioned pieces by inaugural composer-in-residence, Ann Callaway of El Cerrito. The suite draws on the text of three poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Callaway wrote the pieces as a series, starting in fall 2014. Voci performed an excerpt of the first work, “Henry Purcell” in May 2015, followed by a premiere of the full piece at the Sonic Harvest new music festival in Berkeley in October. Voci premiered the second piece, “Moonrise June 19, 1876” at its winter concerts in November 2015.
Now complete, Voci performed the full suite, including a premiere of the third and final piece, “Woodlark,” at our May 2016 performances. We also previewed the suite at the Treble Voices Now festival in Berkeley in April 2016.
For more about this new work, read our interview with Ann Callaway.
The first year of our New Works Project was funded, in part, by a grant from the Zellerbach Foundation.