Specializing in a cappella music of the Renaissance and the 20th and 21st centuries, Ars Nova Singers of Boulder, Colorado celebrates its 31st concert season in 2016-2017. The professional-core ensemble conducted by founding Artistic Director Thomas Edward Morgan is composed of selectively auditioned choral musicians from the Denver/Boulder metropolitan region. In its history, Ars Nova has presented over 350 performances of more than 100 different concert programs.
The ensemble has received national recognition, including being selected as a semifinalist for The American Prize in choral performance (2010). Ars Nova was invited to perform in the studios of National Public Radio on its March 2006 East Coast tour. The ensemble has been funded by the Avenir Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Chorus Program of the National Endowment for the Arts, among others.
Recent collaborative performances include Inspire/Respire: Music in the Air, with Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Company (November 2016); two acclaimed performances in Boulder's Fiske Planetarium; a world premiere of Peter-Anthony Togni’s Warrior Songs with legendary jazz percussionist Jerry Granelli (October 2014); the U.S. premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Salve Regina with Sphere Ensemble (October 2013); an acclaimed rendition of Giya Kancheli’s Amao Omi with the Colorado Saxophone Quartet (October 2012); Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra (April 2011); the Colorado premiere of Carol Barnett’s The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass with Jake Schepps and Expedition (September 2010); Osvaldo Golijov’s cantata Oceana, presented in collaboration with the professional chamber orchestra Pro Musica Colorado (May 2008); and a critically acclaimed performance of Terry Riley’s Sun Rings with the renowned Kronos Quartet at the Colorado Music Festival (July 2006). Ars Nova Singers has been heard in radio broadcasts throughout the world, including such National Public Radio programs as Performance Today, The First Art, Music from the Hearts of Space, and locally on Colorado Spotlight and Colorado Matters. Ars Nova has released ten independent recordings on compact disc and performed on seven internationally released recordings with Boulder composer and instrumentalist Bill Douglas.
Thomas Edward Morgan, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Ars Nova Singers, has been acknowledged as a leading interpreter of new music in Colorado. Under his leadership the choir has become one of the premier ensembles in the region. Mr. Morgan received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and the Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Colorado. In addition to his work with Ars Nova Singers, he serves as Music Director of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, a position he has held for 27 years. Mr. Morgan studied choral and orchestral conducting with Dale Warland, Helmut Rilling, and Giora Bernstein, and has taken master classes with Eric Ericson and Herbert Blomstedt.
As a composer, Mr. Morgan was an artist-in-residence of the Lucas Artists program at the Montalvo Center for the Arts in Saratoga, California (2006-2008). He collaborated with New York visual artist Lesley Dill in the production of I Heard a Voice, an extended work for a cappella chorus premiered by the Ars Nova Singers in September 2002 and performed in Vancouver in 2003. His composition Psalm 88 for orchestra and chorus received the prestigious BMI Award, and his choral work Four Poems of e. e. cummings was presented on the opening program of the eighth Internacional Musica Nueva festival in Mexico City. Several of his works have been performed internationally by the Peiyang Chorus of Tianjin, China.