Santa Fe Desert Chorale
Music and Opera reporting on is made possible by The University of North Texas College of Music.
Select the link below to discover more.

Review: Santa Fe Desert Chorale | Santa Fe Desert Chorale | Highland Park United Methodist Church

Desert Music

The Santa Fe Desert Chorale, led by Joshua Habermann of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, gives a terrific performance in its North Texas tour.

published Saturday, November 4, 2017

Photo: Chelsea Call
Santa Fe Desert Chorale


Dallas — On Oct. 21, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale gave a stunning concert at Highland Park United Methodist Church while on a North Texas tour.  It was of local interest because Joshua Habermann has been the music director since 2009. He is also the Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus and a renowned singer as well.

The Santa Fe Desert Chorale is a professional chamber choir made up of 24 voices. In Santa Fe, the chorale received 2006 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2016, the Santa Fe Reporter named it the Best Choral Group in Santa Fe.

The chorale’s mission is to explore Hispanic and Native American music as well as performing the music of out time. In addition to presenting seven world premieres, they have commissioned 22 works by 18 composers, most of which are American. In addition, another seven works have been given their American premieres.

The first impression of the chorale, bright faces all spiffed out in tuxedos and black floor-length dresses, is how young they all are. They could easily be mistaken for the elite chamber choir at a top-rated university with a distinguished music department. Once they began, this impression vanished. They are obviously a carefully chosen and meticulously rehearsed professional chorale.

Their intonation was right on. None of the a cappella work flatted or sharped, a common problem among such groups. The blend was generally good, although a soprano voice occasionally was more prominent than one would wish.

Habermann is a subtle conductor. His beat is contained within the confines of his body. Bigger movements were saved for just the right moment. My seat allowed me to see his face, a choristers view as it were. Most of his energy is communicated by his very expressive face rather than in his expressive, but minimal, podium technique.

The music on the program, titled American Voices, was a study in American diversity.  There was some music of the past. From the 1800s, they sang some selections from the Shaker music tradition, even matching the throat singing technique that was common at the time. But the bulk of the program consisted of contemporary works by some of the top choral composers of our time. The familiar list of names included Stephen Paulus, Sydney Guillaume, Morten Lauridsen and Shawn Kirchner. There was also a world premiere of a work by Jake Runestad, Reflections based on writings by Henry David Thoreau.

The press release noted that Refections is “filled with the influence of traditions from the diverse cultures that make up our community.” The same could be said about the entire program. Thanks For Reading

Click or Swipe to close
Desert Music
The Santa Fe Desert Chorale, led by Joshua Habermann of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, gives a terrific performance in its North Texas tour.
by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :