Accompanied by members of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Oakwood University’s Aeolians Choir will present a live recording concert on Saturday, March 30, 5:30 p.m., OU Seventh-day Adventist Church.
According to director Jason Max Ferdinand the Aeolians – the 2012 World Choir Games Spirituals Champions and three-time gold medalists, currently world-ranked #16 and the reigning 2010 and 2011iSing Challenge Champions of all the 105 historically Black colleges and universities – will entitle this CD project, “Lift Up Your Gates and Sing!!!”
Q: Max, why now? Why this setting?
A: We try to record every two years. I have never quite liked choral singing recorded in a studio. Something about the feel of a church, the room and the interaction of the people makes for a more authentic vibe.
Q: In what ways will this product, “Lift Up Your Gates and Sing!!!,” differ from the last product, "A New Song," recorded in 2009? A: This recording will be live; excited that we will have members of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra with us, . . . so capturing those tunes with that accompaniment is foremost in my mind; and this year represents a whole new crew of Aeolians. They are carrying on the legacy in their own way.
(Note: for more on the Aeolians’ legacy, check out http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2012/01/many_oakwood_university_aeolia.html)
Q: What has changed since winning the 2012 World Choir Games' three gold medals and World Spirituals championship, and a #1 world ranking in the gospel/pop/jazz category, as well as a #16 world ranking of the 1,000 ranked international choirs?
A: Definitely more calls have come in from major organizations. The Alabama Symphony call, for example, came the week after we won. Also, I think it has taken everything up a notch on many fronts, in regards to our students’ professionalism. Q: Concert admission fee?
A (global tour manager, Vilroy McBean): This is not a fundraiser, but a live recording concert, an historic event. As such, it is costing us over $40,000 to produce this album project. One can support by prayer, always, as well as by donating to help cover the costs, by pledging at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aeolians/aeolians-of-oakwood-university-live-recording-2013.
Ferdinand: All should come as if they were about to attend a fine concert at the concert halls of their various cities, ....it is free, but bring an OFFERing! Q: The product: CD? One- or two-set? DVD, too? How soon to market? Can one pre-order the product? How can one get more info?
A: We will have to see how things turn out after mixing, etc. Yes, pre-order forms will be available.
Q: Finally, Max: how close are you to completing your doctorate? From where, and in what specific area? Why this subject area, and why this person?
A: Will be vanishing this summer to complete it. University of Maryland, College Park - Choral and Orchestra Conducting......"Chariot Jubilee, by R. Nathaniel Dett." A reconstruction and analysis of his early major work. His music is so worthy to be brought back into the standard choral canon.