It's all about context.


Our first commissioned choral piece, composed by Nicholas Reeves, composer and manager at the Arvo Pärt Project, is poised to hit its first rehearsal tonight. Reeves took the transcripts from Betty’s Notebook and created a sonic tapestry that reflects the static, confusion, and urgency of these unconfirmed messages from Amelia Earhart. In order to bring the audience into the mind of the composer, our first concert will be in the intimacy of a private residence on White Rock Lake.

Core to Verdigris’ mission is the education of our audiences. Whether that is through context, program notes, outreach, or talkbacks, we want both the choral music junkie and the first-time concert attendee to feel like they can enter the music with a sense of understanding.

Both Mason Bates’ Mass Transmission and Reeves’ Betty’s Notebook are a bit beyond the bounds of what most would consider “beautiful.” They ask something more of the listener than to merely sit and enjoy. With the layers of fixed electronica, live human voice, and instrumentation, each piece is an immersive soundscape that asks for deeper listening. However, each piece deals with the nostalgic subject of early radio transmission and the human connections it enabled, something with which listeners both young and old can connect. Using set pieces and minimal staging, Verdigris will be singing these challenging pieces in a context of nostalgia and warmth so that our listener can hear the complex layers of sound in a setting they recognize.

Those who attend the concert at the private residence will get a double dose of this. The evening on the lake will be spent with drinks and dinner prepared by Dallas-based chef Roe DiLeo, two-time Hell’s Kitchen contestant. Reeves, the composer, will present a talk-back about his piece and Earhart researcher Ric Gillespie will briefly present his research on Betty’s Notebook, a controversial and compelling piece of evidence in the Earhart investigations.

It’s going to be an evening to remember. Food, drinks, and music to expand your world. What more could you hope for in an evening? Season subscribers receive an awesome discount. Get your tickets here.

Erinn Sensenig