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New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Chorus: schedule and reviews, 1995–2011
Sadly, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (NMSO), founded in
1932, ceased operation in 2011. Happily, the choral arm, the
NMSO Chorus, continues as an independent organization: see my
New Mexico Symphonic Chorus page.
The page below summarizes my history with the NMSO Chorus.
I'm a current member of the baritone section of the New Mexico
Symphony Orchestra Chorus. (See the official
This experience has been the high note of my musical life.
In my opinion, Roger Melone is one of the finest choral
directors on the planet, and working with him has been a
grueling but supremely rewarding experience.
We have also been privileged to work under two remarkable
musical directors. Guillermo Figueroa, our current maestro,
was chosen after universal raves from audiences, the
musicians, the critics, and the board of directors,
serendipitously derailing a selection process that did not
initially include him, and he has justified this confidence
with a long series of brilliant performances, in many of
which the chorus has been fortunate to perform. I also
have fond memories of David Lockington, who started in
1995, the same year I joined. Both men excel not only
at staging strong and beautiful musical performances, but
also at the vital community outreach and education parts
of the job.
I have written a personal, unofficial guide for new NMSOC
members. This document has not been reviewed or approved
by anyone but me. It's in PDF form and is called
Shipman's NMSOC Newbie hints
- Performed in the 2010–2011 season:
- July 16, 2011: We made our fourth appearance at the
Bravo!-Vail (CO) Valley Music Festival to sing Orff's
Carmina Burana with the Philadelphia Orchestra,
conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero.
- Feb. 25–27, 2011: Haydn, Creation.
- Dec. 17–19, 2010: Bach, Christmas Oratorio.
- Oct. 15–16, 2010: Rachmaninoff, Vespers.
- Performed in the 2009–2010 season:
- May 21: Lerner & Lowe pops at the Rio Grande Zoo bandshell.
- Apr. 16–18: Borodin, Polovtsian Dances;
Brahms, Schicksalslied; Mozart,
- Feb. 26–28: Bernstein, Chichester Psalms.
[Article: An underfunded jewel]
- Jan. 29–31: Verdi, opera choruses from
Il Trovatore, and La Traviata.
Dec. 18–20: Handel, Messiah.
- Performed in the 2008–2009 season:
May 30: A Gershwin pops performance at the Rio Grande
May 15–17: Orff, Carmina Burana.
Mar. 20–22: Beethoven, Missa Solemnis.
Oct. 10–12: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
- Performed in the 2007–2008 season:
Jul. 14: Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival: Orff,
Carmina Burana with the Philadelphia Orchestra
under Rossen Milanov.
Mar. 28–30: Brahms Requiem. I have now sung
the Mozart Requiem in at least eight cycles,
the Verdi Requiem once, and the Brahms once.
Which is my favorite? I love them all! The Verdi is
dramatic; the Mozart is simply one of the best pieces in
the repertoire; the Fauré is intimate; but the Brahms
is the most universal, as Brahms wrote it to include Jewish
and agnostic friends. (I hope soon to sing
the Berlioz Requiem; it shouldn't be too long,
since Maestro Figueroa is a serious Berlioz fan.)
Feb. 29–Mar. 2: Debussy, Nocturnes: Sirenes;
Ravel, Daphnis et Chloe: Suite No. 2.
Feb. 15–17: Brent Michael Davids, Pauwau Symphony.
Nov. 16–18: Sir William Walton, Belshazzar's Feast.
Sep. 12, 14–16: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9.
- Performed in the 2006–2007 season:
Jul. 14: Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival: Beethoven,
Symphony No. 9 with the Philadelphia
Orchestra, conducted by Rossun Milanov.
May 11–12: Gordon Getty, Plump Jack.
Mar. 2–4: Rachmaninoff, The Bells, a choral symphony.
Feb. 2–4: Orff, Carmina Burana.
- Sep. 29–Oct. 1: Berlioz, Te Deum.
- Performed in the 2005–2006 season:
- Jul. 2: Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival:
Mozart Requiem with the Rochester Philharmonic
[Albuquerque Journal article],
directed by Christopher Seaman.
See also chorus member
Dave Bregar's pages for photos and links to blog
- Apr. 21–22: World premiere of Miguel del Aguila's
Time and Again Barelas, commissioned for
- Feb. 17–18: Verdi, Requiem.
- Dec. 16–17: Handel, Messiah, conducted by
- Oct. 28–29: Stravinsky, Symphony of Psalms,
conducted by Roger Melone.
- Sep. 23–24: Music of Star Wars, conducted
by Byron Herrington.
- Performed in the 2004–2005 season:
- May 19: Ramirez, Missa Criolla
- Apr. 8–9: Wagner opera choruses from
Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, and
Die Meistersinger [Review]
- Mar. 4–5: Poulenc, Stabat Mater; Boito,
Prologue to Mephistopheles
- Nov. 20: Broadway Pops
- Oct. 1–2: Mozart Requiem
- Howard Shore, Lord of the Rings Symphony.
This show sold every seat both nights. The crowd was the
most attentive and enthusiastic I've ever seen at an NMSO
- Performed in the 2003–2004 season:
- May 26: Patriotic Pops: Randall Thompson, selections from his
Americana including Testament of Fredom
- Mar. 19–20: Hindemith, When lilacs last in the dooryard
- Dec. 20: Christmas Pops
- Dec. 5 & 7: Saint–Saëns, Christmas
Oratorio; Monteverdi Vespers [Review]
- Oct. 9–10: Berlioz, Romeo and Juliet
- Performed in the 2002–2003 season:
- May 2–3: Berlioz, Les Troyens (selections)
- Mar. 21–22: Berlioz, Damnation of Faust
- Dec. 13–14: Handel, Messiah
- Dec. 7: Christmas Pops
- Beethoven's Ninth, Sep. 20–21.
- Performed in the 2001–2002 season:
- A chorus-only concert, May 19.
- Beethoven, Choral Fantasy, May 3–4. I was
chosen for the semi-chorus, one of four baritones singing
the sections indicated as solos in the score.
- Janacek, Glagolitic Mass—in the Glagolitic
language (an ancestor of Bulgarian and Slavonic),
February 22–23, 2002.
- Christmas concert including only Twentieth Century Pieces, including
Respighi's Laud to the Nativity, the Pinkham
Christmas Cantata, and Franz Biebl's
Ave Maria, among several others, December 7–9.
- Mozart, Mass in C Minor, October 19–20.
- Performed in the 2000–2001 season:
- May 27, 2001: Orff, Carmina Burana, at the Zoo
Bandshell, Roger Melone conducting. See also
Kree-kree!, or the hazards of live music.
- Apr. 20–21, 2001: Fauré, Requiem,
Paul Polivnick, guest conductor.
- Apr. 6–7, 2001: Bach, Mass in B Minor, Roger
- Dec. 15–16, 2000: Prokofiev, Alexander Nevsky
(in Russian). David Wiley, guest conductor.
- Dec. 8–10, 2000: Handel, Messiah, absolutely
every note; also Dec. 22–23, Spencer Theater, Ruidoso, NM.
I was pleased to be chosen for the small chorus of 32 for this concert.
- Oct. 13–14, 2000: Bernstein, Chichester Psalms;
Verdi, Te Deum. Thomas Wilkins, guest conductor.
- Performed in the 1999–2000 season:
- May 20, 2000: Patriotic Pops at the Zoo bandshell
- April 14–15, 2000: Great opera choruses
- Feb. 18–19, 2000: World premiere of Roy Shattenkirk's
- Dec. 10–11, 1999: World premiere of Brent Michael David's
Gathering of Nations
- Beethoven's Missa Solemnis
- 1998–1999 season:
- J. S. Bach's The Passion According to St. John,
- Verdi's Four Sacred Pieces, Jan. 15–16
- Handel's Messiah, Dec. 18–19–20
- Poulenc's Gloria
- 1997–1998 season:
- May 1998: Sir William Walton,
For more information about this piece, see ClassicalNet's
Sir William Walton page.
- April 1998: Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
- January 1998: Mozart's Requiem.
- December 1997: Handel's Messiah,
the entire work in one concert, with nothing omitted.
- October 1997: Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem.
- In previous years (since the 1995–96 season):
Mahler's Second Symphony,
Orff's Carmina Burana, and
J. S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio, among others.
Next: New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Chorus stories
See also: Shipman's music page
Previous: New Mexico Symphonic Chorus: schedule and reviews
John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2012/10/20 00:42:56