Jeffrey Dinsmore Memorial fund

2015-16: The Crossing's 10th Anniversary

Respond / Reprise / Renew

A look back and a look forward, reprising many of our favorite commissions,
while looking ahead with 25 premieres from some of the world's most creative composers.

Bonhoeffer of Thomas Lloyd

Saturday September 12, 2015, 8 pm @ Union Seminary, New York City
Sunday September 13, 2015, two performances at 2 pm and 5 pm @ Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral

The Philadelphia Inquirer said of our premiere of Lloyd's work, "Sometimes you just don't see a significant piece coming...While it effectively airs many philosophical questions that keep your mind busy long after the performance, it is never weighed down by them, and is rich in musical substance."

This breakthrough work for sixteen men, three women, and chamber ensemble probes the life and death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer through a series of scenes from his physical and spiritual lives; it is among our most requested works and we happily reprise it to launch the anniversary season.

Reprise 1

Sunday October 18, 2015, 4 pm @ The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill

An afternoon concert featuring a new work of Stratis Minakakis (whose Monteverdi Responsories was received so enthusiastically last summer), based on the pentatonic folk tunes and polyphonic practices of northwestern Greece. We will also reprise three commissions by some of The Crossing's closest friends, and the seminal work of Ēriks Ešenvalds that began our long association with him.


Gabriel Jackson: Priere (the first work sung by The Crossing in public November 8, 2005)
Stratis Minakakis: a commissioned world premiere
Robert Maggio: The woman where we are living (from our 2014 Month of Moderns)
Paul Fowler: Breath (from The Levine Project, 2011)
Ēriks Ešenvalds: Legend of the Walled in Woman
Gabriel Jackson: According to Seneca (from Seneca Sounds, 2010)

Words Adorned: Andalusian Poetry & Music

Saturday December 5, 2015, 8 pm @ Goodhart Hall, Bryn Mawr College
with Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble and Dalal Abu Amneh

This intriguing collaboration with Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, a Philadelphia-based organization dedicated to presenting and teaching Arab culture through the arts and language, will bring cultures together as The Crossing sings in Arabic with Palestinian singer Dalal Abu Amneh.


Two world premieres of Kareem Roustom and Kinan Abou-afach

Learn more about Al-Bustan at

The Crossing @ Christmas

Friday December 18, 2015, 8 pm @ The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
with Scott Dettra, organ

It's a true gift to again sing works that we have loved and longed for.  We have been fortunate to introduce these works to our audience, with their rich and varied styles.  To make it a true anniversary holiday, Scott Dettra joins us in the works of MacMillan, Boyle, and Dove.


Benjamin CS Boyle: Three Carols of Wintertide
James MacMillan: Seinte Mari moder milde
Andrew Gant: What child is this?
Robert Convery: Christmas Daybreak
Thomas Adès: The Fayrfax Carol
Bo Holten: First Snow
Jonathan Dove: Seek him that maketh the seven stars
Kenneth Leighton: O leave your sheep
Ēriks Ešenvalds: Stars
Ēriks Ešenvalds: Northern Lights

Reprise 2

Sunday February 14, 2016, 4 pm @ The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill

Spend Valentine's Day reflecting with The Crossing as we sing works about our love for one another, love for our planet, and our wish for a more loving culture.


Kile Smith: Where flames a word (from The Celan Project, 2009)
Gabriel Jackson: Rigwreck (from The Gulf (between you and me), 2013)
Ted Hearne: Privilege
Gabriel Jackson: Song (I gaze upon you)
David Shapiro: It is Time (from The Celan Project, 2009)
David Lang: I live in pain (a 2011 gift to The Crossing from this Pulitzer laureate)

Seven Responses

A two-night event: Friday June 24, 2016, 8 pm and Saturday June 25, 8 pm @ Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
Major funding provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
with Quicksilver Baroque Orchestra, Robert Mealy, Director
and ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), Claire Chase, Artistic Director


Dietrich Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri


Seven Responses to Buxtehude: seven 15-minute works by Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen (Denmark), David T. Little (USA), Santa Ratniece (Latvia), Caroline Shaw (USA, Pulitzer 2013), Lewis Spratlan (USA, Pulitzer 2000), Hans Thomalla (Germany), Anna Thorvaldsdottir (Iceland)

This entire work is presented over two nights @ The Philadelphia Cathedral

Friday June 24, 2016, 8 pm

Buxtehude's Cantatas 1-4 (feet, knees, hands, and side)
and the responses of David T. Little, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Caroline Shaw, and Hans Thomalla

Saturday June 25, 2016, 8 pm

Buxtehude's Cantatas 5-7 (breast, heart, and face)
and the responses of  Lewis Spratlan, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and Santa Ratniece

Continuing and expanding its role as a curator of new music, The Crossing embarks on its largest project yet: Seven Responses. Seven of the world's foremost composers are composing fifteen-minute musical responses to Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri, an iconic sacred work of the German Baroque consisting of seven cantatas. The Crossing will perform the new works in repertory with Buxtehude's 17th-century work with two leading ensembles in their respective fields of performance: Robert Mealy's Quicksilver Baroque and Claire Chase's International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Seven Responses will challenge artists and audiences alike to explore our relative distance from, or closeness to, music across centuries, cultures, and continents. The project will be presented over two evenings, alternating between old and new works throughout each evening. Each composer has been invited to collaborate with an author of their choice, or to create their own libretto - those will include the words of Icelandic poet Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir, American poet Paul Kane, the words of St. Clare of Assisi, and Danish poet Ursula Andkjær Olsen.

The Crossing's commissions have increasingly addressed issues related to the environment, to equality, and to the individual's place in the community. Human suffering is often a theme in contemporary secular works, similar in character to sacred words of the past. Membra Jesu Nostri (1680) addresses the suffering of Christ; this will serve as a starting point for the secular cantata each composer of Seven Responses will write. 

Jeff Quartets

Friday July 8, 2016, 8 pm @ The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
Dedicated to the memory of Jeff Dinsmore
The commissioning of Jeff Quartets was made possible by the support of the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music

How do we honor a legacy of generosity and an unequaled commitment to new choral music and those that make it?  We've had time to think about this - and the obvious slowly emerged from a mist of lamentation.

Jeff Quartets is a concert-length set of fifteen new works for four voices, presented as a journey over an evening, with an omnibus edition of the quartets available.

Our composers: Louis Andriessen, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, William Brooks, Robert Convery, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Paul Fowler, Ted Hearne, Bo Holten, Gabriel Jackson, David Lang, Lansing McCloskey, Santa Ratniece, David Shapiro, Kile Smith, and Lewis Spratlan.

Big Sky Choral Initiative

Twelve singers working with young artists at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana

July 17 - 24, 2016

for more information visit

Title artwork by Elizabeth Haidle