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Interlochen Arts Academy Choirs premiere new arrangement at Festival

Composer Katerina Gimon
Brian Lee Topp
Composer Katerina Gimon

The Arts Academy choirs will perform new music by award-winning Canadian composer Katerina Gimon this week.

This week, Interlochen Arts Academy's choirs will be performing two works by the award-winning Vancouver-based composer Katerina Gimon.

Kat is visiting Interlochen (and Michigan) for the first time ahead of this Friday's Festival concert, and she came by Interlochen Public Radio to talk with us.

In addition to being a composer and a singer, Katerina is a trained improviser. She shared how exploring what her voice could do influenced her multi-movement piece "Elements."

“I started getting very used to using my voice and my body like an instrument would. How could I sound like a percussionist? How could I sound like a saxophone?  A lot of those ideas and ways I learned to use my voice in non-conventional ways ended up in the piece.”

Brian Lee Topp

In addition to "Elements," Interlochen students will premiere a new arrangement of "Frost Myth." This setting of poetry by American poet Alice Williams Brotherton features sopranos and altos.

This work was originally written for tenors and basses. Katerina said she was partly inspired to feature upper voices in this arrangement due to her love of Eastern European women's choirs.

“I’m a huge fan of writing for upper voices… My family is actually Ukrainian. So, coming from Eastern European traditions, if you think of Eastern European women’s choirs, they have this big kind of weight, and a chest register, I think we don’t fully take advantage of a lot of the time in North American choral music.  So that was something I wanted to focus more on in this piece; there are some good alto features!”

Click above to hear the full interview as well as exclusive recordings of Interlochen students rehearsing Katerina Gimon's "The Frost Myth" and "Elements."

The rehearsal recordings were engineered by Stefan Wiebe.

Interlochen Arts Academy Choirs, conducted by John Bragle, will perform at Festival on Friday, May 27 at 4 p.m. in Corson Auditorium.

Click here to learn more about Katerina's new music collective, Chroma Mixed Media.

Explore more of her music at her website.

Keith Brown is the host of Matinee Classics and the host and producer of GAMEPLAY.