Arts

Chorus uses new technology to make beautiful music together online

Ragazzi Boys Chorus gives voice to 'Joy, Awe, and Wonder' in their third streaming concert

The Ragazzi Boys Chorus has used groundbreaking technology to overcome the delay time in video streaming so that its members can sing together online in real-time. The chorus presents its third virtual concert, "Joy, Awe, and Wonder" on May 2. Courtesy Ragazzi Boys Chorus

While some art forms have pivoted to the online world more easily than others, the limitations of video streaming platforms can turn choral music and other group musical performances into virtual cacophony. But through the use of a "virtual studio," Ragazzi Boys Chorus has been making beautiful music online since the fall and is now presenting its third online concert, "Joy, Awe, and Wonder," on May 2, 4 p.m.

The chorus has been using the Ragazzi Virtual Studio for online rehearsals and performances to diminish the delay time (also known as latency) of video streaming so that the choristers can actually sing and harmonize together in real-time from their own homes.

The virtual studio, which was tested by Ragazzi's singers, was developed by the JackTrip Foundation, which was launched by Ragazzi parent and software engineer Mike Dickey in collaboration with Chris Chafe and Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.

Ragazzi choristers range in age from 5 to 18, and "Joy, Awe, and Wonder" will feature members of four of the chorus' six groups for different ages and skill levels. The wide-ranging program draws on traditional choral literature as well as more contemporary pieces and spans the globe. Among the works featured are Ross Whitney’s stirring "Pentatonic Alleluia," "Cuckoo!" from Benjamin Britten’s “Friday Afternoons” with words by Jane Taylor, "Amen" from Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater" and the a cappella "Akekho Ofana No Jesu," a traditional South African song, arranged by Daniel Jackson.

Other works on the program include "Stars" by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds with text by Sara Teasdale, which, unusually, features music played on water-filled glasses, and Leon Dubinsky’s anthem of hope, "We Rise Again."

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Chorus uses new technology to make beautiful music together online

Ragazzi Boys Chorus gives voice to 'Joy, Awe, and Wonder' in their third streaming concert

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Apr 29, 2021, 1:36 pm

While some art forms have pivoted to the online world more easily than others, the limitations of video streaming platforms can turn choral music and other group musical performances into virtual cacophony. But through the use of a "virtual studio," Ragazzi Boys Chorus has been making beautiful music online since the fall and is now presenting its third online concert, "Joy, Awe, and Wonder," on May 2, 4 p.m.

The chorus has been using the Ragazzi Virtual Studio for online rehearsals and performances to diminish the delay time (also known as latency) of video streaming so that the choristers can actually sing and harmonize together in real-time from their own homes.

The virtual studio, which was tested by Ragazzi's singers, was developed by the JackTrip Foundation, which was launched by Ragazzi parent and software engineer Mike Dickey in collaboration with Chris Chafe and Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.

Ragazzi choristers range in age from 5 to 18, and "Joy, Awe, and Wonder" will feature members of four of the chorus' six groups for different ages and skill levels. The wide-ranging program draws on traditional choral literature as well as more contemporary pieces and spans the globe. Among the works featured are Ross Whitney’s stirring "Pentatonic Alleluia," "Cuckoo!" from Benjamin Britten’s “Friday Afternoons” with words by Jane Taylor, "Amen" from Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater" and the a cappella "Akekho Ofana No Jesu," a traditional South African song, arranged by Daniel Jackson.

Other works on the program include "Stars" by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds with text by Sara Teasdale, which, unusually, features music played on water-filled glasses, and Leon Dubinsky’s anthem of hope, "We Rise Again."

Suggested donation is $25 per viewer. For information, visit ragazzi.org or call 650-342-8785.

Comments

Karen G
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2021 at 11:40 am
Karen G, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 11:40 am

This is a beautiful article, thank you! And so helpful. Appeciate all the detail you provided about the technology that makes this possible. I'm a long-time choir director who has mourned the loss of singing together. If I'd known about this earlier, I might have been able to implement. Our choir is hoping to start singing again together, once we're fully vaccinated -- but outdoors. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. If the tunnel lasts longer, I really appreciate the resource you shared. And bravo to Santa Clara County, for being so far ahead of the curve now. Honored to live here.


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