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The Gregg Smith Singers


  1. The premiere of Gregg’s children’s opera, Rip Van Winkle, took place at the Central Park East Elementary School in collaboration with their choir (Barry Solowey, director) and GSS. This was a commission from NYSCA’s Arts in Education program.

    Listen to: Excerpt from Rip Van Winkle
    Game Song
    Stephen Paparo, baritone
    Deborah Cunningham, piano

  2. Italy beckoned! Silvio Piovesan, whose uncle had commissioned Stravinsky in the late 1950s, wanted to tour Les Noces. It was a great collaboration between GSS, the Strasbourg Percussion Ensemble, GSS Soloists and four former GSS pianists who had all received Fulbright scholarships and were living in Europe. In the fall, GSS recorded Les Noces and other Russian works with Robert Craft in a new Stravinsky CD series for MusicMasters. In November in LA, GSS honored Leonard Stein's retirement from the Schoenberg Institute, UCLA, and then sang a concert in the living room of the Schoenberg house surrounded by the master's furniture and paintings!

  3. GSS repeated the Stravinsky tour of Italy with the same forces, this time with a concert in Rome and three in beautiful springtime Sicily. Just as in 1984 in Hawaii, the volcano (Etna) was active!

  4. GSS took on a new role as opera chorus in a concert version of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at Alice Tully Hall. This was subsequently recorded for the Stravinsky series on MusicMasters. Backstage at a tour concert in Florence Alabama, we met the last surviving original owner of a Frank Lloyd Wright "Usonian" house.  Ms. Rosenberg invited us over the next morning for a tour and we sang a song for her in the living room some of us had seen in books by FLW for decades! 

  5. The highlight of this year was the concert for Chorus America’s National Convention in NYC on June 2nd. It was memorable not only because of the very special audience, but also because six master composers — Milton Babbitt, Jack Beeson, Lukas Foss, Morton Gould, Hale Smith and Louise Talma — all honored GSS with a personal appearance at a pre-concert panel on, naturally, writing choral music. (Louise had the last word. When asked why she wrote choral music, she said “Why, because the voice is the first and most beautiful instrument.”)

  6. GSS was invited to the St. Petersburg (Russia) “International Spring Festival” to perform four concerts of contemporary American and Russian music. The fall saw a new recording of contemporary Mexican choral music released and our gala 40th Anniversary Concert with 50 East Coast alumni joining the current GSS.

  7. GSS began the year with a repeat of the 40th Anniversary Concert on the West Coast where GSS began — a gala evening for Monday Evening Concerts. From LA we flew to Mexico City to perform three concerts plus a composers workshop. Back to LA we started a four week, 17 concert cross-country tour, finishing in NYC.

  8. GSS was invited to participate in a choral festival in Legnano, Italy where we were the featured chorus. We gave eight concerts in nine days in several halls in this beautiful town just north of Milano. 1997 also marked the 25th anniversaries of the Singers’ New York Concert Series and the Adirondack Festival of American Music.

  9. Musically the season climaxed with the Bosler Memorial Vespers in May when we presented three masterpieces of Gustav Holst which utilized the largest orchestra ever for the Bosler service. Together with Saint Peter’s Choir, GSS sang the magnificent Hymn to Jesus. A personal highlight for Gregg and Roz occurred in August when they sold Penthouse West, their NYC apartment of 28 years, and moved to a lovely house in Yonkers with, finally, enough room for GSS’ music library.

  10. Fifteen years earlier, GSS had toured the state of West Virginia performing at various colleges and universities. Under the West Virginia Arts Consortium, they once again toured the state. The highlight of each concert was the pairing of GSS and the local university choir in Gregg’s lush setting for two choirs of West Virginia, Alice McClain’s poem extolling the beauty of this state.