A tweet is worth $10,000

True Concord Voices & Orchestra, led by founder and conductor Eric Holtan, was awarded $10,000 in Deluxe Corporation Foundation's 2016 Short & Tweets program. 

Nan Melville Photography

True Concord Voices & Orchestra will put on its most ambitious season to date in 2016-17, including a collaboration that will bring its largest number of performers on one stage.

The Grammy-nominated choir and chamber orchestra is joining with the University of Arizona Choral Department in January for Mendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah,” featuring Grammy-winning operatic baritone Richard Paul Fink. The performance, arguably the cornerstone of the 2017 Tucson Desert Song Festival, will feature 70 vocalists and a 50-piece orchestra.

“We’ve never done anything this big. It’s exciting,” said True Concord Music Director Eric Holtan, who founded the ensemble 13 years ago. “The piece is two hours or so. It’s a long song, but it is as close to opera as it gets for someone like Mendelssohn.

“It’s a great work and I think people are going to be really stunned by it,” he added. “It’s one of those pieces ... that doesn’t get done very often in Southern Arizona. This will be a rare performance.”

It is the first of two collaborations with the UA Fred Fox School of Music Choral Department over the next two seasons. The groups will join forces again in the 2017-18 season for Verdi’s Requiem, which UA Choral Director Bruce Chamberlain will conduct, Holtan said.

In February, True Concord will collaborate with Arizona Early Music Society on Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. Holtan said he will provide the vocalists and the society is bringing instrumentalists, who will perform on period instruments including lutes, coronets and Baroque strings.

“It’s going to be a first for True Concord, and I don’t know if the Vespers has ever been done in Tucson,” he said.

“The partnership celebrates Arizona Early Music’s 35th anniversary and the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth.

Also next season, True Concord will revisit Bach’s “Magnificat,” a piece it performed in its fourth season in 2007 and an important work that Holtan said “you want to circle back to every eight to 10 years.”

Season subscriptions are on sale now and single tickets go on sale Sept. 6 at trueconcord.org

True Concord performs three or four concerts of each program at venues in Tucson, Green Valley and Oro Valley. For locations and times, visit trueconcord.org

  • “Marvelous Mother Earth,” Oct. 13-16.
  • “Majestic Magnificat,” Nov. 17-20.
  • “Mystical Mary: Christmas Lessons and Carols by Candlelight,” Dec. 8-11.
  • “Monumental Mendelssohn: “Elijah,” part of the Tucson Desert Song Festival, Jan. 27-29.
  • “Magnificent Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610,” with Arizona Early Music Society. Feb. 24-26.
  • “Mesmerizing Moscow,” March 23-26.

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ontact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter: @Starburch

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.