This past Thursday The New York Choral Society celebrated its 55th anniversary with a Spring Gala at the Metropolitan Club, in Manhattan. The event began with a cocktail reception as guests entered the grand foyer covered in marble, which was the perfect backdrop for the elegant occasion. Guests had the opportunity to mingle and associate with past president's of the prestigious NYCS as well as participate in a silent auction. The best part of the night featured a full three-course dinner, and proceeded to the award ceremony. Grammy Award-winning producer, John McClure, was honored with the Robert De Cormier Lifetime Achievement Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, and Jennifer Higdon, was presented with the Music Excellence Award.
"These people are my family, and I am so thankful for this honor, it is always amazing to be able to do what you love, and I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to do what I love, and that's music." Said, Jennifer Higdon.
The night ended with a decadent dessert reception and raised over $10,000 in the silent auction.
Grammy Award winner, John McClure is one of the most prolific music producers for the past six decades, having been credited on over 800 recordings. Spending most of his career with Columbia Records, he has worked with such music legends as Bruno Walter, Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, the Boston Pops Orchestra, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Henry Mancini. McClure has also produced numerous recordings for the New York Choral Society. McClure received the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album in 1967 for Mahler: Symphony No. 8 by Leonard Bernstein and the London Symphony Orchestra and again in 1985 for Best Musical Show Album for West Side Story, featuring José Carreras and Kiri Te Kanawa, also conducted by Bernstein.
Pulitzer-prize winner Jennifer Higdon is one of the most performed living American composers working today. Her list of commissioners range from the Cleveland Orchestra to the Philadelphia Orchestra; from eighth blackbird to the Tokyo String Quartet; and from The President's Own Marine Band to such artists as Hilary Hahn. Higdon received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, with the committee citing Higdon's work as a "deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity." She has also received awards from the Serge Koussevitzky Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts & Letters (two awards), the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, and ASCAP. In January, 2010, Higdon received a GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her Percussion Concerto. She holds the Rock Chair in Composition at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The New York Choral Society will be performing Higdon’s The Singing Rooms, featuring acclaimed violinist, Jennifer Koh, on April 29, 2014 at Carnegie Hall.