About Voices 21
The chamber chorus VOICES 21 -- a select ensemble for the 21st century -- was formed in the fall of 2000 by founding director Dr. Jesse Parker. The chorus performs in churches, retirement communities and other venue mainly in Maryland. It specializes in a cappella repertoire of the 15th, 16th, 20th, and 21st centuries, focusing on rarely performed compositions.
VOICES 21 is also committed to the performance of new works for chamber chorus. It commissioned and premiered Snippets, Whispers, Shadows and Charms, by Dr. Carolyn Bock, a seven-movement suite for chorus, Native American flute, and assorted percussion, in the spring of 2002. South Carolina-based, Dr. Paul Criswell has composed multiple works for the ensemble: the first was his Ave Verum Corpus (performed June 2005), followed by his Sussex Caro l (December 2005), and most recently West-Running Brook (May 2014). T he Criswell works are dedicated to Jesse Parker and VOICES 21. In observance of its 10th anniversary season (2009-2010), the chorus commissioned and performed two new works -- a Christmas piece, I Have No Music (A Composer’s Lament), by Colorado–based composer and arranger Jerry Brubaker; and Night Sings to Morning, a three-movement suite for mixed chorus and guitar, by Minnesota-based composer and guitarist Jeffrey Van. Work is underway for another commission to celebrate VOICES 21's upcoming 20th anniversary during the 2019-2020 concert season.
VOICES 21 also engages in periodic travel at home and abroad. The chorus made its European debut in June of 2003 with performances in Paris and Amboise, France; it returned to Europe in June of 2005 for performances in Italy, and toured Ireland in June of 2007. In May of 2014, the group was invited to perform in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the official outreach arm of Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina.
The members of VOICES 21 are all experienced choral singers whose individual credentials include performances in the United States and Europe with renowned conductors and orchestras.
Membership is open to all by audition.