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True Concord to take a red carpet walk
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Local ensemble up for 2 awards

True Concord to take a red carpet walk

Eric Holtan is hitting the red carpet on Monday.

He’ll take that celebrity walk with his wife, Eloisa, and fellow Tucsonan Dorothy Dyer Vanek at his side, representing Grammy nominee True Concord Voices & Orchestra.

The professional ensemble, which Holtan launched in 2004, is up for a pair of Grammys for its 2015 CD “Far In the Heavens: Choral Music of Stephen Paulus”: Best Choral Performance for the CD and Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Paulus’s “Prayers & Remembrances,” the cornerstone of the CD. That Grammy would go to Paulus, who composed the piece for True Concord in 2011 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

“We would love to win, but in a way we have already won,” Holtan said last week, days before leaving for LA. “This nomination is a big deal. It’s a huge validation. There are no losers at this point. A win would be icing on the cake.”

Holtan admitted a part of him hopes for a win “for Stephen and his family for a lifetime dedicated to writing inspiring music and for a life tragically cut short.”

Paulus, who composed several works for True Concord, worked with Holtan, the ensemble and Grammy-winning producer Peter Rutenberg on the recording project in May 2013 in Tucson. Six weeks after he returned home to Minneapolis, Paulus suffered a stroke from which he never recovered; he died on Oct. 19, 2014, at the age of 65.

“I think he knew it was a really good CD, but I think he would be so proud and so pleased and just validated in that way,” said Paulus’s widow, Patty, who will attend the Los Angeles ceremonies with her two sons, Andrew and Greg.

Paulus said her husband, Holtan and Vanek — who invested $220,000 in all for the Paulus commission, the recording project and the follow-up “Prayers & Remembrances” concert in New York City last September — had always envisioned their collaboration as entailing three parts: The commission, the recording and the New York concert.

“We didn’t even think that would be the fourth part, that it would be nominated for a Grammy. That is just icing on the cake,” she said.

Paulus will join Holtan and the Tucson contingent at the Grammy after-party Monday night.

“How often do you get to rub shoulders with all these celebrities?” Holtan joked.

Meanwhile, five vocalists of True Concord also are on the roster of Phoenix Chorale’s Grammy-nominated CD “Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil.” The Phoenix ensemble teamed up for the recording with the Kansas City Chorale.

In addition to the two True Concord-related nominations, Stephen Paulus is up for Best Classical Compendium for the Nashville Symphony recording “Paulus: Three Places Of Enlightenment; Veil Of Tears & Grand Concerto.”

Contact Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch.

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