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Loft Recordings acquires
Clarion Records

June 1, 2008 - Loft Recordings, LLC is pleased to announce that it has acquired Clarion Records. Stanley Schmidt founder of Clarion and former owner of CollegiumUSA, has retired and transferred all interests in Clarion to Loft Recordings. Loft will offer the label as before on the Gothic Catalog Web site along with its other "house labels" Loft Recordings, Gothic Records and reZound. (Loft is also the exclusive North American importer of the British label, Quilisma.) In addition, Loft will distribute the Clarion Records label through Allegro, its North American distributor, and Priory in the United Kingdom.

Clarion Records features some of America's finest choirs, including VocalEssence Ensemble Singers/Philip Brunelle, Conspirare/Craig Hella Johnson, The Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale/Linda Mack, Apollo Chorus of Chicago/Stephen Alltop and many others. Clarion received two Grammy nominations for "Requiem" by Conspirare directed by Craig Hella Johnson, for Best Choral Performance and Best Enginnered Classical Album. Clarion also has several Super Audio CD offerings—two by Conspirare and one by the Pittsburgh Bach Choir. There are four new releases slated for 2008.

A listing of Clarion's catalog is below.

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Welcome Christmas - Carols & Lullabies from Around the World VocalEssence What A Mighty God - Spirituals and Gospels for Chorus - VocalEssence William Grant Still: Skyward My People Rose - VocalEssence - Philip Brunelle
What A Mighty God/VocalEssence
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William Grant Still: Skyward My People Rose/VocalEssence
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From Virgil Thomson's camp meeting setting of "The Holly and the Ivy" and Steve Barnett's swing verson of "Go Tell It on the Mountain" to Randall Davidson's homespun "Christ Was Born on Christmas Day" and Conrad Susa's magnificent Carols & Lullabies, commissioned from Susa specifically for VocalEssence, Maestro Brunelle has chosen carols-both familiar and unfamiliar---tied to one another by their inventiveness, charm and beauty in one of the year's most exciting new holiday discs. VocalEssence is joined with an orchestra and jazz band for this program of stirring spirituals and rousing gospel melodies.  "Flawless choral singing, presented with a genuine felling of compassion and warmth." - BBC Music Magazine

Part of The Witness Series of African-American music, sung by VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, directed by Philip Brunelle.
William Grant Still's music for chorus, orchestra and organ brings the blues into the concert hall, ragtime to the ballet stage and the Old World into a new era.
Dance Like The Wind: Music of Today's Black Composers/VocalEssence Got the Saint Louis Blues - Classical Music in the Jazz Age/VocalEssence JAC Redford: Eternity Shut In A Span - Christmas Music - Philadelphia Brass - Utah Chamber Artists
Thought-provoking and moving music by eight modern composers spans the range of expression from solo cello to chorus, from jazz ensemble to woodwind quintet. Vibrant music from the crossroads — South and North, African and American, church and street — characterizes the era between 1914 and 1930. Each of the composers here was a significant contributor to the Harlem Renaissance and by tune or text, these works document the coming jazz explosion. Many have never before been recorded. World Premier Recordings!   Multiple Emmy Nominated composer J.A.C. Redford has been active in the film and television industries for over 25 years. Redford has scored more than three-dozen feature films, TV movies or miniseries.  Eternity Shut In A Span features World Premiere Recordings of the Christmas music of this outstanding composer, in luminous performances by the Utah Chamber Artists and the Philadelphia Brass.
Evening Wind: Choral Music by J.A.C. Redford - Los Angeles Chamber Singers Winter - The Choral Project Veljo Tormis: On American Shores - Portland State Chamber Choir - Bruce Browne
J.A.C. Redford: Evening Wind/Los Angeles Chamber Singers
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Winter/The Choral Project
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Evening Wind is a new collection of Choral Music by J.A.C. Redford. With texts by E. E. Cummings and William Wordsworth, this music weaves starswept skies and sunflecked seas around the theme of love. J.A.C. Redford is an accomplished composer of concert, chamber and choral music. In films, Redford is best known for scores to The Trip to Bountiful, Oliver & Company, and Newsies, as well as the television series Coach and St. Elsewhere for which he received Emmy® nominations.   The Grammy award winning Los Angeles Chamber Singers have been one of L.A.'s premier ensembles for 16 years. The Choral Project's fifth recording, Winter, features, appropriately enough, music with winter and holiday themes.  A wide variety of nationalities and genres are represented here, from contemporary composer Eric Whitacre to pieces from Holland, Nigeria, Russia and Jamaica. In 2003 Estonian Composer Veljo Tormis heard the Portland State Chamber Choir while they were on tour in his country. Tormis was so taken with the brilliant artistry and expressive power of the ensemble he requested that Bruce Browne and his singers do a CD of his music sung in English.  For almost two years the Singers, their conductor and the composer worked together on this project. The result is "On American Shores," a collaboration between a great composer and great American college choir.
One is the All - The Choral Project Andrew Rindfleisch: Choral Works - Isthmus Vocal Ensemble Joyous Day - Utah Chamber Artists - Barlow Bradford - Christmas carols with orchestra
One is the All/The Choral Project
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Andrew Rindfleisch: Choral Works/Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
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Joyous Day!/Utah Chamber Artists
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The Choral Project's sixth recordiing features music that spans the globe and the centuries, including a world premiere by award-winning Broadway composer; lyricist Stephen Schwartz, written especially for this production. Andrew Rindfleisch (b. 1963) is an internationally active composer, conductor, and pianist whose work continues to gain consistent critical and popular acclaim. A leading composer of his generation, he has produced dozens of works for the concert hall, including solo, chamber, vocal, choral, orchestral, and wind music. His committed interest in other forms of music-making have also led him to the composition and performance of jazz and related forms of improvisation. The Isthmus Vocal Ensemble delivers a fine performance of this beautiful and interesting new choral music. This disc is sure to delight those who love the sounds of Christmas and are looking for artful arrangements that enhance the familiar with innovative quality. The ensemble’s performance creates a balance and sonority rarely found in a combined choir and orchestra. These are big, creative, highly orchestrated arrangements executed by first-rate professionals.  Highly recommended!
Live from Loretto Chapel - Santa Fe Desert Chorale - Linda Mack The World Beloved - A Bluebrass Mass by Carol Barnett  - VocalEssence - Philip Brunelle - Monroe Crossing The Songs We Sang: Favorite American Folksongs - VocalEssence
Live from Loretto Chapel/Santa Fe Desert Chorale (2 CDs!)
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The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass/VocalEssence
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The Songs We Sang: Favorite American Folksongs/VocalEssence
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The Santa Fe Desert Chorale offers a brilliant two CD set with selections recorded at the historic Loretto Chapel, during the 2006 Santa Fe Summer Festival. Using two small ensembles, under the baton of artistic director Linda Mack, the chorale offers An American Hallelujah featuring songs of faith, joy and praise. The second disc called Romance is lead by assistant Matthew Tresler and offers a sublime view of the trials and tribulations of love, from Brahms to Lennon and McCartney Minnesota composer Carol Barnett offers this unusual Mass setting in more-or-less classical style, orchestrated with Bluegrass instruments. The result is tailor-fit for VocalEssence a vocal ensemble which hasmade a reputation for first-rate performances of this type of crossover music. This CD also includes ten American choral masterpieces spanning the centuries, including Randall Thompson, William Billings, Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus, Ned Rorem, Eric Whitacre and others As comforting as an old patchwork quilt, these beloved folksongs are presented in charming choral arrangements with guitar, harmonica, accordion, bass and piano by Philip Brunelle and the 32-voice VocalEssence Ensemble Singers.
First Day / Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Linda Mack Tell the World - The Choral Project Solemn Splendor, Adoramus Vocal Ensemble, Mark Burrows, director
First Day / Santa Fe Desert Chorale
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Tell the World/The Choral Project
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Solemn Splendor/Adoramus Vocal Ensemble
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Recorded live and in studio session, the works on this recording include choral settings commissioned from four American composers for the 2006 and 2007 summer seasons, in addition to folk music, sacred settings, and significant poetry. Includes exhilarating new and recent works from composers John David Earnest, Z. Randall Stroope, Kirke Mechem, Judith Cloud, Bradley Ellingboe and Emile Desamours. Adoramus is the premier resident vocal ensemble of First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. This first nationally released recording on Clarion features four world premier recordings. Adoramus has a clear and relaxed vocal sound, and has developed a national following with imaginative and popular programming.
Sky-Born Music - Milwaukee Choral Artists Behold this Heavenly Night/VocalEssence Gratitude, Gravy & Garrison/VocalEssence/Keillor
Behold this Heavenly Night/VocalEssence, Brunelle
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Gratitude, Gravy and Garrison/Keillor, VocalEssence, Brunelle
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It is traditional during an anniversary year that a performing ensemble commissions a piece of music in commemoration of that milestone. Milwaukee Choral Artists went a step further by inviting ten composers to write new works for the ensemble - one for each of its ten years. Founded in 1998 as a chamber ensemble comprising professional solo singers, the Milwaukee Choral Artists is one of only a handful of professional women's vocal ensembles in the country. With its signature lush sound, MCA brings a distinctive and varied repertoire of choral and vocal masterworks to audiences throughout the region. In 1998, VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum joined forces to offer an annual contest encouraging the composition of new carols. Over the years hundreds of worthy carols have been submitted. “Behold This Heavenly Night” presents the world premiere of some of these contest-winning carols alongside outstanding arrangements of more familiar melodies. Also included is the U.S. premiere of John Rutter’s new “Carol of the Magi” and a unique arrangement of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” translated into Latin by Philip Brunelle and his son Christopher. Storyteller Garrison Keillor and conductor Philip Brunelle lead a harmonious celebration of all things Thanksgiving with the melodious voices of the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers and their special guests, singer Jearlyn Steele and pianist Richard Dworsky. Along the way we learn that Thanksgiving really isn’t all about the turkey — it’s actually all about the pie...
From the Land of Sky Blue Waters/VocalEssence Tell the World - The Choral Project Over the River/Garrison Keillor & VocalEssence
From the Land of Sky Blue Waters/VocalEssence
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Yuletide/The Choral Project
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In 2011, the VocaEssence Ensemble Singer criss-crossed Minnesota via historic Highway 23 to share with the state's citizens the music of its choral composers, its singer-songwriters and the songs being sung by the people who have made Minnesota their home over the past 150 years. Enjoy the voices of VocalEssence as the explore the state's unique legacy of traditional, choral and popular song. The award-winning Choral Project with Daniel Hughes present a concert of their favorite holiday music. On a chilly November evening, the Hopeful Gospel Quartet — Garrison Keillor, Mollie O’Brien and Robin & Linda Williams — traded musical moments with the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers in a concert at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. The evening seamlessly blended American folk traditions with choral masterpieces old and new, from “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” to “Now Thank We All Our God.” Garrison Keillor shared his Thanksgiving memories in a hilarious yet poignant monologue. Now available nationally for the first time—from The Gothic Catalog!
Hymn to Potatoes/Garrison Keillor with VocalEssence
Hymn to Potatoes/Garrison Keillor with VocalEssence (2 CDs!)
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Who knew a choir could be this funny? Garrison Keillor, Philip Brunelle and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers dish up a generous helping of "Potatoes a la Schubert", run away to Europe to indulge their “Shenandoah” habit, and enlighten us on the T.U.L.I.P. doctrine. This two-CD set of the best choral skits and bits from 10 years on  "A Prairie Home Companion" includes the often-requested “Julia” (John Lennon) and a rare choral interpretation of “Karma Chamelon” (Boy George). With Charles Kemper and Richard Dworsky at the piano, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and guest appearances by Tom Keith and Tim Russell. Now available nationally for the first time—on Clarion Records from The Gothic