A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Angel City Chorale (ACC) will celebrate its first two decades in song with special reunion concerts on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, at 7 p.m.  One lucky Culture Spot LA reader can win a pair of tickets. Simply email editor@culturespotla.com with your choice of date and “ACC tickets” in the subject line.

The Angel City Chorale 20th Anniversary Concerts will feature the West Coast premiere of Grammy Award-winning composer Christopher Tin’s Calling All Dawns.  In addition to performing Tin’s highly acclaimed three-movement piece, which celebrates the circle of life in 12 languages, ACC will also perform “The Best of ACC,” highlighting much-loved and crowd-favorite songs from the choir’s 20-year history.  The Greatest Hits portion of the program will include performances of Randy Newman’s Louisiana and Toto’s Africa with a choir-created thunderstorm.  Conducted by ACC Founder and Artistic Director Sue Fink, the concerts will be held at the historic Wilshire United Methodist Church.

Tin’s Calling All Dawns saw its East Coast premiere in April at Lincoln Center.  Hailed by critics as a masterpiece, the song cycle includes songs of joy, mystery, sorrow, hardship and triumph – reflecting the complexity of our mortality.  Calling All Dawns contains 12 pieces in three uninterrupted movements – Day, Night and Dawn – corresponding to life, death and rebirth.  Sung in 12 languages, from Swahili to Polish, French to Farsi, the lyrics are sourced from diverse texts including The Torah, Bhagavad Gita, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Japanese haiku and Maori proverbs.  Vocal traditions include African choral music, opera, medieval chant, Irish keening and more.

Tin’s debut album, Calling All Dawns, won two Grammys at the 53rd Grammy Awards for Best Classical Crossover Album and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists for the song “Baba Yetu,” which made history as the first video game theme to win a Grammy.  The song was originally composed in 2005 for the theme song to the Civilization IV video game.

Performing with the choir during the first half of the concert, for Calling All Dawns, will be an expanded orchestral ensemble with strings, French horn, flute, oboe, harp, piano and five percussionists.  In the second half of the concert, during ACC’s Greatest Hits, the choir will be accompanied by the ensemble’s stellar rhythm section.

Angel City Chorale was formed by Fink in 1993 at McCabe’s Guitar Shop with 18 singers. Today, with more than 160 members, ACC performs a diverse selection of music, including classical, jazz, folk, gospel, and rhythm and blues.

The Angel City Chorale 20th Anniversary Concerts will be held June 1 and 2 at Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90010.  The audience is invited to join the performers for a dessert reception after each performance.  General admission tickets are $30 in advance for adults, $27 for seniors and $22 for children.  For additional information about ACC, upcoming performances or tickets, call (310) 943-9231 or visit www.angelcitychorale.org.