Muhlenberg Voice Faculty Member Wins Grammy; Three Others Nominated

Three out of the five nominated works in the Best Choral Performance category were tied to members of the College community.

By: Meghan Kita  Thursday, December 13, 2018 03:49 PM

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Part-time Voice Lecturer Alexandra Porter belongs to The Crossing, the winner of the 2019 Best Choral Performance Grammy for "McLoskey: Zealot Canticles." Photo by SALT Arts Documentation.

This story was updated on February 13, 2019.

The winner of the 2019 Best Choral Performance Grammy was The Crossing, an ensemble that part-time Voice Lecturer Alexandra Porter is part of, for McLoskey: Zealot Canticles. “I actually found out about the win from a friend who was also on the Zealot Canticles album—she posted about it on social media,” Porter says. “It is an exciting win for the ensemble, and for the composer Lansing McCloskey. I'm very proud to have been part of the process and grateful that I can follow my passions as a career.”

Of the five nominated works in the category, two others were also tied to members of the College community: Director of Choral and Vocal Studies and Assistant Professor of Music Christopher Jackson and part-time Voice Lecturer Fiona Gillespie were nominated as part of the Skylark Vocal Ensemble for Seven Words From The Cross and part-time Voice Lecturer Jessica Beebe was nominated as part of the Clarion Choir for Kastalsky: Memory Eternal.

Nominees are selected by experts in the field—musicians from all over the world who’ve been nominated in the past or who’ve done enough work to be considered experts—so a nomination itself is a high honor. Jackson cites Muhlenberg’s proximity to both Philadelphia and New York City, which are hubs of choral music in the United States, as an advantage when it comes to attracting talented faculty and providing opportunities to students.

“For us all to be nominated in the category of Best Choral Performance, it shows that we are out and doing quality work in our field, that we have a variety of experiences and flexibility and creativity in the instruction provided to our students,” Jackson says. “In addition to being trained soloists, we are working at the top of the field of choral music.”