RE-IMAGINING THE CHORAL ART
Skylark strives to set the standard for innovative and engaging programs that re-define the choral experience for audiences and singers alike. Artistic Director Matthew Guard’s well-researched and creative programs have been described as “engrossing” (WQXR New York) and “original, stimulating, and beautiful” (BBC Radio 3). Often incorporating extensive research to explore connections to history, literature, art, and other disciplines, Skylark's programs engage the audience in new ways, always trying to provide the appropriate context for pieces to have an authentic emotional impact. The sampling of past programs below, including links to full-color program booklets, gives you a window into the unique experience of attending a Skylark concert.
"Thematic programming is my passion. I truly believe in the power of the unaccompanied human voice to communicate at a visceral level. Yet, I do think it is a peculiar challenge to weave together a program that can keep someone riveted (or, let’s be honest, even actively listening!) for 60-odd minutes. While there are some true masterworks of the a cappella repertoire that Skylark has joyfully tackled (like the All-Night Vigil of Rachmaninoff and Poulenc’s Figure Humaine), the substantial body of unaccompanied choral literature consists of small gems — pieces that last between two and six minutes. It can be hard to find a home for these pieces. What is the right context that can bring a piece to life? How can we provide the emotional impetus to allow a piece to be truly understood? How can we get our singers and our audience to engage fully in a piece in a language that they do not understand?" -Matthew Guard, Skylark Artistic Director