Each season, the College of the Arts has enthralled Atlanta’s vibrant arts scene with high-profile visiting artists such as visual artist Marilyn Minter, award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful to Teeth and celebrated cinematographer Bradford Young. Joining the list is GRAMMY® Award-winning composer & conductor Eric Whitacre, who recently led a two-day residency at the School of Music, culminating with a sold-out concert, “An Evening with Eric Whitacre” at the Rialto Center for the Arts.
As one of the most famous and charismatic musicians of his generation, Whitacre’s works have been programmed worldwide by millions of public school and professional performers, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 120 different countries.
About 1,200 Eric Whitacre fans from over 40 area schools, churches and universities took part in the program. The residency schedule included the Eric Whitacre Choral Festival with 700 singing participants, multiple open rehearsals with 200 Georgia State students, and a live stream Q&A with Whitacre discussing his compositional process and conducting techniques. During the residency, Whitacre spoke with Georgia State students and the participants about each composition’s creation and influences, the life he has led as a composer and ways to begin and sustain a career in music.
The residency concluded with a packed concert, in which Whitacre conducted the Georgia State University Women’s Choir, University Singers, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Wind Orchestra and the mass choir of Festival Participants on his musical compositions. The program highlighted Whitacre’s most well-known works, including Sleep, Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine and Animal Crackers, as well as Goodnight Moon, a composition inspired by the children’s book of the same name.
The Eric Whitacre residency was made possible through a collaboration with the Center for Collaboration and Innovation in the Arts (CENCIA), Office of Educational Outreach, Rialto Center for the Arts and the School of Music.
To see a slideshow of highlights from this residency, click here.