October 28, 2020

Two Rehoboth Residents involved in Grammy Award Consideration

Grammy Consideration for Rhode Island College Concert Chorus

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The Recording Academy places RIC group on the official ballot for Best Pop Duo or Group Performance and Best Music Video

The Recording Academy has placed the Rhode Island College Concert Chorus on the official ballot in this year's Annual Grammy Awards in two categories: Best Pop Duo or Group Performance and Best Music Video. The recognition for the group’s virtual performance of "When I Think of You" for SATB chorus and piano, composed by Laura Farnell with text by Sara Teasdale, was announced Friday at Rhode Island College.

“Our students are the best, I love them, and I am so proud they have received this honor," said Dr. Teresa Coffman, Choral Director at Rhode Island College. "This is recognition for the hundreds of beautiful live concerts performed by the Rhode Island Concert Chorus and as inspiration for countless more."

The piece was performed “at a distance” in April during early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the video premiering on YouTube on May 1st. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za-8nD21GaU  

In addition to being recognized for conducting, Coffman was co-producer for the project, along with Rhode Island College senior Music and Film Studies major Jack Zornado, who served as Engineer, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, and Bass section leader. Also recognized are K. Michelle Beaton, Pianist; Tyler Dorothy, Tenor section leader; Rachel Garrepy, Soprano section leader; Leah Silva, Alto section leader, and 28 additional Rhode Island College Students.

"The talent and indomitable spirit of these young artists is truly inspiring,” said Ian Greitzer, Chair of the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance. “These young people are a bright light in the midst of the pandemic and are most deserving of this honor."

The Rhode Island College Concert Chorus is made up primarily of students who major in music, but is open to any RIC student by audition. Part of RIC's Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance, the music program offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, music performance, and music education.

"I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this group of singers at RIC who came together to perform this beautiful song," said Melendy Johnson, sophomore Music major. "When we worked to sing our song, we all felt a sense of peace and calm in being able to make music together in some way."

Junior Music Performance Major Hailey Deltano said, "When COVID-19 first shocked the country, none of us knew where to turn. We were forced out of school, forced out of routine and a place where we felt safe and inspired in more ways than one. To be included on this Grammy ballot is not just for us, it’s for choirs and choir members across the country who, like us, were ripped from rehearsal rooms but still kept the music alive in our hearts."

In April, each chorus member recorded their vocal tracks while watching the video of Coffman conducting and Beaton accompanying on the piano. Then the tracks were mixed and edited into Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro by Zornado. After the month-long process was complete, the chorus met on a Zoom call to watch the premier of the video on Youtube.

"Although we all performed solo, there is no denying that we shared deep feelings, and performed as a whole, whether actually together in one space or not," said K. Michelle Beaton, pianist. "We are one collective heartbeat, and that shines through in this recording."

Rehoboth residents Chris Hoskins and Kayla Leffort, both students at Rhode Island College, were among those recognized for their performance in this video. Hoskins, a Sophomore Music Education Major, said "I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Coffman, Michelle Beaton, Jack Zornado, and the rest of the RIC Chorus for helping me stay connected to music and our RIC music family during such a trying time." Hoskins is the Chair of the Rehoboth Cultural Council.

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