News Archives

Philip Barnes

May 30, 2017

Philip Barnes, parent and faculty, was featured in the 5.28.17 and 5.30.17 St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

5.30.17 "The St. Louis Chamber Chorus concluded its 2016-17 season on Sunday afternoon with Return and Rediscovery, a tightly packed program of a cappella choral music that included several reconstructions of Renaissance motets, some rethinkings of instrumental works and a brand-new masterpiece. The highlight of the concert, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, was the final piece on the program, the world premiere of Judith Bingham’s Ceaselessly Weaving Your Name. Under artistic director Philip Barnes, the SLCC has had a notable commitment to new music, with commissions like this one a regular feature in concerts and recordings. Many have been performed by other choirs; a few, like the Stabat Mater setting by Stephen Paulus, rank as instant classics. Ceaselessly is another. Commissioned by Bob Martyn in honor of his wife, classicist Marni Dillard, Ceaselessly combines texts from Kabir, the mystical 15th-century Indian poet, and from Homer, evoking Odysseus and his epic journey home from Troy and his faithful wife, Penelope. Penelope, beset by pesky suitors in her husband’s long absence, told them that she’d choose a new spouse when she’d finished weaving a shroud for her father-in-law — and then undid each day’s work at night. Ceaselessly starts with women’s voices, singing mysteriously and enticingly, 'I weave your name on the loom of my mind ...' The men, channeling Odysseus, are more declamatory. It’s a brilliant marriage of words and music, with intense harmonies and emotions. Bingham has written a number of fine pieces for the Chamber Chorus; this is the best yet. ...."

5.28.17 "The 2016-17 season is drawing to a close, but two long-established St. Louis musical organizations have announced their 2017-18 seasons. Both the St. Louis Chamber Chorus and the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society occupy unique places in the region’s musical life; each has assembled an appealing season. Chamber Chorus artistic director Philip Barnes puts together his programs as if he were building a three-dimensional puzzle: Everything fits together, from texts to music to venues. The season’s theme is Dance to the Music of Time. Unusually for an a cappella choir, it includes collaborations with other area artists, including a dancer, a poet, a visual artist and a pianist. The SLCC, whose members are all professional singers, has a commitment to new music, and this season will also include four world premiere commissions and other new works. Venues range from downtown St. Louis to St. Charles. The season opens Oct. 1 with Tonight I Dance Alone, at Centenary United Methodist Church downtown and continues Nov. 12 at Third Baptist Church in Grand Center with Even Such is Time. The choir’s Christmas concert, A Time of Mystery, on Dec. 17, will take place at St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church in St. Charles. In the new year, they’ll go to the 560 Music Center for Choral Dances on Feb. 11. The theme is The Time of Our Lives on April 8 at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church in south St. Louis. The season concludes with Memorial Dances on May 27, at First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood. The SLCC’s current season concludes Sunday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres. All concerts start at 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 636-458-4343 or visit chamberchorus.org.