Philip Kutev National Folklore Ensemble, Bulgaria
The world-renowned Philip Kutev National Folklore Ensemble was founded in 1951 by the eminent Bulgarian composer Philip Kutev (1903-1982) whose lifelong dream was to bring his country’s folklore tradition to the stage. He established the ensemble with the goal to integrate the rich heritage of Bulgarian folk songs for vocal singers and the traditional dance with its harmonies and arrangements that would highlight their beautiful timbres and irregular rhythms.
The members of the ensemble were originally recruited from the smallest villages throughout Bulgaria. The first performance of the Philip Kutev Folklore Ensemble was in Sofia in 1952. The specific color of Bulgarian voice sound making appeared for the first time in the history of professional choirs to immediately impose an impressive and even shocking effect onto the audience. For the first time traditional Bulgarian folk instruments and dances were introduced on stage and brought along extraordinary rhythms and images.
Today Phillip Kutev Ensemble spread the beauty of native folklore in all parts of the world. Each new stage performance is a holiday. The Philip Kutev Folklore Ensemble follows the stylistic and genre crossovers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries that are based on the rich and soulful Bulgarian music traditions, reflecting old time village life and the intermingling of cultures on the Balkan Peninsula through the centuries, by developing its own polyphonic sound while encountering Western harmony. The concerts with the participation of the Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble, the performances with the Albena Theater, the multi-stylistic suites with the bluegrass are indicative of the Ensemble’s non-traditional approach to the various genres. This makes the Philip Kutev Folklore Ensemble well known for its innovative fast-paced virtuoso performances.
University of Florida Chamber Choir
The choral program, headed by Dr. Will Kesling, consists of the University Chamber Choir, the University Concert Choir, the University Choral Union, the Women’s Chorale, the Men’s Glee Club, Paenzi Sauti (African Choir) and the Gospel Choir. The University Chamber Choir is comprised of dedicated student musicians, usually at the graduate level and upper undergraduate level, performing a wide range of choral styles from various historical artistic periods and numerous world cultures. The University Concert Choir is the premiere choral ensemble comprised mostly of students pursuing degrees in the field of music as well as outstanding singers from outside majors at the university. This group performs culturally diverse choral master works from all style periods.
The University Chamber Choir has performed at conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and University Concert Choir performed with the San Diego Symphony, National Philharmonic, Washington, D.C., Czech National Orchestra and the Czech National Theater Orchestra, as well as the Kronos String Quartet, the Three Italian Tenors, and the Posaune Voce Trio of Birmingham, England. The University Chambers Singers was the first North American choir to participate and be featured in the CORPACOROS 2012 INTERNATIONAL XVII ENCUENTRO CORAL DE MUSICA COLOMBIA.
Bach Festival Youth Choir
The Bach Festival Youth Choir (BFYC) serves the Central Florida community by providing quality music education with the goal of developing the highest level of artistic excellence in choral music performance. The choir is comprised of a homogenous blend of public, private and home-schooled students ages 9-18. The choir strives to enrich the lives of children from all religious, ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds.
The BFYC performs regularly with the Bach Festival Society adult choir and orchestra. Recent concerts include: Georg Philipp Telemann’s comic cantata, Der Schulmeister (The Schoolmaster), Gabriel Faure’s Pavane and Messe Breve, Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Carl Nielsen’s Hymnus Amoris (Hymns of Love). The students participated in Carl Orff’s exciting Carmina Burana performed with the Bach Festival Society Choir and the London Symphony Orchestra in 2009 and more recently with the Bach Festival Society and the Orlando Ballet. The Youth Choir performs annually at “Christmas in the Park” sponsored by the Morse Museum of Art, Winter Park, Florida, and “A Classic Christmas” in beautiful Knowles Memorial Chapel, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.
The BFYC is directed by Devon Kincaid. Ms. Kincaid holds a Master of Arts degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Florida Southern College. Ms. Kincaid performed with the Bach Festival Society Choir for 10 years and performs in solo recitals and as a guest conductor in the Central Florida area. Since 1987, Ms. Kincaid has taught voice, piano, choir and general music at Lake Highland Preparatory School, in downtown Orlando leading her children’s choirs to a level of excellence that is rare to find at the elementary level. In addition to her home studio, Ms. Kincaid has taught voice at Rollins College. She holds professional memberships to ACDA, FVA, MENC, FMEA, and FEMEA. Many of her students have performed in Florida Allstate Choirs, ACDA National Honors Choirs, the National Festival Choir in Carnegie Hall, or have pursued careers in music.