The article below appeared in the Albuquerque Journal of August 6, 2006.
One good job is leading to another for the 90-voice chorus of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
The NMSO Chorus, which is holding auditions this weekend and next, got rave reviews when it performed W. A. Mozart's Requiem with the Rochester Philharmonic last month at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.
“Our success there on July 2 was overwhelming,” said Roger Melone, who prepared the chorus for the performance. He is the NMSO's chorus director and resident conductor.
“It was one of those things you hope happens once or twice during your career,” Melone said. “It was that emotionally powerful.”
That performance has led to the Philadelphia Orchestra inviting the chorus to present with it Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 next summer at the same festival.
Melone explained how the invitation came about: “We had not been back in Albuquerque a week when we got a call from Vail. (Festival director John) Giovando said to me, ‘Do you have a recording of the chorus that you could send to the Philadelphia Orchestra? They are interested in your chorus.’
“So we sent a recording of the chorus doing a bunch of stuff.”
A short time later, Melone got a call from festival artistic director Eugenia Zuckerman.
According to Melone, Zuckerman said the Philadelphia conductor, Rossen Milanov “flipped over your chorus and wants you to come next summer and do the Beethoven Ninth.”
The chorus got to perform at this summer's festival thanks to former NMSO music director David Lockington.
Melone said Lockington recommended the chorus to Christopher Seaman, the Rochester Philharmonic's music director.
NMSO auditions for chorus members for the coming season continue today, Friday and Saturday in the NMSO Rehearsal Hall, 4407 Menaul NE.
Auditions are for openings in all voices. Reading music is required. For an appointment, call 944-2542.
For the 2006–07 season, the chorus and the NMSO will perform Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, Hector Berlioz's Te Deum and Sergei Rachmaninoff's The Bells.