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A FIFTY YEAR CHRONOLOGY

A FIFTY YEAR CHRONOLOGY

The Gregg Smith Singers

1970-1979

  1. Kenneth Allen retired and Gregg joined forces with Walter Gould, beginning a wonderful and unique artist/manager relationship that continued to Gould’s retirement in 2000. On Christmas Eve, Gregg Smith and Rosalind Rees were married at Saint Peter’s Church, NYC which later became the home base of the GSS.

  2. When Stravinsky died in April the family sent Gregg to Venice to “round up” a chorus and orchestra to perform the Requiem Canticles at the funeral service there. It was an adventure like no other but against the most improbable odds, he succeeded. Roz joined him a few days later and ended up singing the alto solo.

  3. GSS joined Balanchine’s New York City Ballet in a massive tribute to Stravinsky, closing the two-week festival at the New York State Theater with Symphony of Psalms.

    GSS recorded Ives Celestial Country in March of 1972 in St. Paul's Chapel on Columbia University campus with John McClure as recording engineer.

    Listen to: Charles Ives, Double Quartet from Celestial Country

  4. Both the GSS New York Concert Series and the Adirondack Festival of American Music in Saranac Lake, NY began this year. They continue today. The Singers also began recording with Vox, celebrating the 300th birthday of Heinrich Schuetz with a three-record Schuetz “Vox Box.”

  5. With the 100th birthday years of both Schoenberg and Ives, GSS took special programs of their music to Europe, performing concerts and radio broadcasts in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain.

  6. A massive Bicentennial recording project (sponsored in part by the Ford Foundation), “America Sings” (13 LPs in all) began with the Vox Box “The Great Sentimental Age,” recorded in the newly-refurbished Renwick Art Gallery in Washington DC.

  7. GSS performed an all American choral concert at Interlochen for the ACDA in July. They then continued on to make their first tour of Asia (plus Hawaii), appearing in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea.

    GSS women recorded Elliott Carter's Harmony of Morning in the spring of 1976 at Brooklyn College.

    Listen to: Elliott Carter, Harmony of Morning

  8. GSS traveled to Fort Worth to record their famous Christmas album, “A Festival of Carols”, joining forces with the Texas Boys Choir and the Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir. The project was sponsored by Mary D. and Howard Walsh who, though non-musicians, attended all the rehearsals and recording sessions. Re-released on CD, the album is still going strong today.

  9. Gregg was given the Alice M. Ditson award that honors conductors for their service to American music, joining such luminaries as Leopold Stokowski and Leonard Bernstein. He is the only choral director besides Robert Shaw to have won this award.

  10. With the help of the Victor Herbert Foundation, GSS recorded in Saranac Lake the first of four Herbert operetta “highlights” albums, The Red Mill. Gregg orchestrated all four (Mlle Modiste, Naughty Marietta, The Red Mill and Sweethearts).