NEWS ABOUT THE CHORAL TALES PROJECT


Premiere of Choral Tales Films!

September 21, 2018


The first Choral Tales films were premiered on the UN International Day of Peace, September 21st. The occasion was a concert and expo hosted by the Build a Better World Foundation, in a theater of Agoura Hills, California.

The event honored and raised funds for four educational and humanitarian organizations, including the Choral Tales Project. We are most grateful to Build a Better World Foundation for their support.

The Choral Tales films were projected on the theater screen and the premiere was very well received.

  The screening of “Cat’s Protector,” one of the Choral Tales films premiered on the UN International Day of Peace

The screening of “Cat’s Protector,” one of the Choral Tales films premiered on the UN International Day of Peace

At the event, Mayor William D. Koehler of Agoura Hills spoke on the vital importance of peace. Other speakers included Robin Dimaggio, Music Director to the United Nations, and Ludwig Tuman, founder-director of the Choral Tales Project. The event was MC’d by Kirsty Corwin, founder of the Build a Better World Foundation.

 Kristy Corwin, founder of the Build a Better World Foundation, with Robin Dimaggio, Music Director to the UN

Kristy Corwin, founder of the Build a Better World Foundation, with Robin Dimaggio, Music Director to the UN

 Ludwig Tuman discusses the Choral Tales Project at the premiere of the project’s films.

Ludwig Tuman discusses the Choral Tales Project at the premiere of the project’s films.

 William D. Koehler, Mayor of Agoura Hills, spoke at the event.

William D. Koehler, Mayor of Agoura Hills, spoke at the event.



Schools in Chile expand use of Choral Tales

September 1, 2018

In Temuco, a large university city and the capital of the Araucania region of Chile, schools are expanding their use of stories from the Choral Tales Project. 

The children learn about their own ancient indigenous Mapuche culture and language (see backdrops in photos). At the same time, they are learning to respect cultures from other parts of the world through the Choral Tales stories, which are from Tanzania, Mexico, Scotland and China.

While the Choral Tales Project at this stage is oriented primarily to young adults, we are delighted to see that children, too, are being exposed to the wisdom in these stories from around the world.


 

Choral Tales Filming a Success!

April 29, 2018

We are excited to announce that on April 29, years of preparation bore fruit in a single, wonderful day when the first Choral Tales works were successfully filmed. 

The audio recordings and videos are being edited and will be made available for viewing in the weeks to come.  Stay tuned!

 Dr. Jonathan Talberg (2nd row of choir, left) led the Chamber Choir of California State University, Long Beach, accompanied by percussionists Arthur Lin, Petra Elek and Bailey O'Donnell on African instruments.

Dr. Jonathan Talberg (2nd row of choir, left) led the Chamber Choir of California State University, Long Beach, accompanied by percussionists Arthur Lin, Petra Elek and Bailey O'Donnell on African instruments.

It was a joy and privilege to engage and work with so many wonderful people, to see so much talent and experience all in one place!  Musicians, choreographers, dancers, audio and film teams - some 60 artists in all - traveled from Long Beach and Los Angeles to Oxnard College to film the first Choral Tales pieces.

Click the link below to see striking photos of the individual artists performing.  Photography here and on Facebook: David Tuman.

www.facebook.com/choraltales

Choral director, Dr. Jonathan Talberg, led the renowned Chamber Choir of California State University, Long Beach.  The music was composed by Ludwig Tuman, based on text by collaborating poet and author, Shirin Sabri.  Choreography was by Sherene Melania (previously filmed), Anindo Marshall, and Jingqui Guan.

The pieces performed and filmed were "The Happy Man's Shirt," "The Cat's Protector," and "Lord of the Cranes" - based on folk tales from Scotland/UK, Tanzania, and China.

 Bei Bei, internationally known guzheng performer, with flutist Jeffery Harley and members of the Chamber Choir, during an informal run-through of "Lord of the Cranes."

Bei Bei, internationally known guzheng performer, with flutist Jeffery Harley and members of the Chamber Choir, during an informal run-through of "Lord of the Cranes."

 Anindo Marshall choreographed "The Cat's Protector," based on a folk tale from Tanzania. Seen above, Nateli Ruiz and Shannon Grayson dance on stage with the choir.

Anindo Marshall choreographed "The Cat's Protector," based on a folk tale from Tanzania. Seen above, Nateli Ruiz and Shannon Grayson dance on stage with the choir.

 Choreographer and dancer Jingqiu Guan (front left), with dancers Mizuki Sako, Kelsey Manes, Kristianne Salcines and Kyra Sakamoto. They performed "Lord of the Cranes," based on a folk tale from China.

Choreographer and dancer Jingqiu Guan (front left), with dancers Mizuki Sako, Kelsey Manes, Kristianne Salcines and Kyra Sakamoto. They performed "Lord of the Cranes," based on a folk tale from China.

 Sherene Melania, Artistic Director of the Presidio Dance Theatre in San Francisco, choreographed "The Happy Man's Shirt". Seen above are Andrew Leathers as the Happy Man, and Edgar Lepe as the King. Filmed last year, this dance has now been combined with the filming of the choir singing the music.

Sherene Melania, Artistic Director of the Presidio Dance Theatre in San Francisco, choreographed "The Happy Man's Shirt". Seen above are Andrew Leathers as the Happy Man, and Edgar Lepe as the King. Filmed last year, this dance has now been combined with the filming of the choir singing the music.

 

Grateful Thanks to All Who Made it Possible!

Institutional Sponsors:

The Arts Collaborative, headed by Armando Lopez
Artists Building Capacity as World Citizens
Oxnard College, special thanks to President Cynthia Azari

Donors:

The many friends of the project whose contributions large and small helped us reach our budget goal.  Without your help, none of this would have been possible.  To travel, you have to have fuel!


Visual Artists:

Heidi Bradbury, whose donated painting "Namaste" graces the Choral Tales web site
Bridgette Kelling, for rendering the Choral Tales logo

 

Artistic Collaborators:

Choral Tales was privileged to engage artistic collaborators with wonderful records of accomplishments.  To take just one example, who has not been highlighted in a previous newsletter:  Jon Rezin, our project audio engineer, has recorded and mixed for the likes of Disney films, American Idol, John Legend, and Santana.  To list just some of the more notable achievements of our collaborators would make the newsletter impossibly long! 

Dr. Jonathan Talberg, Head of Vocal and Opera Studies, Cal State University, Long Beach; Director of Chamber Choir

Shirin Sabri, Poet and Author

Anindo Marshall, Choreographer

Sherene Melania, Choreographer

Jingqiu Guan, Choreographer

Jon Rezin, Recording & Audio Mix Engineer

Teodora Totoiu, Cinematographer

 

Singers:

The Chamber Choir of CSU, Long Beach, winner of the Choir of the World Award, in Wales.  The members are vocal majors, some specializing in jazz or opera, and each a wonderful singer in their own right. 

Amanda Mello
Amanda Mitton
Ashley Miner
Attia Arenas
Blake Larson
Brandon Guzman
Brittany Logan
Emilio Valdez
Emily Booth
Emily Bosetti
Ethan Daneguldberg
Harlee Balajadia
Holly Freiberg
Ian Luna
Jennifer Paz
John Carroll
Jonathan Arenas
Justin Baptista
Kathleen Moriarty
Kathleen Van Ruiten
Kaylee Lackman
Malek Sammour
Marcus Klotz
Matthew Hazzard
Michaela Blanchard
Nancy Leigh Morgan
Natalie Gonzalez
Pauline Tamale
Ricardo Martinez
Ryan King
Saane Halaholo
Sarah Shaler
Sarah Conniff
Sean Wilburn
Thomas Murphy O'Hara
Zachary Haines


Dancers:

Tale from Tanzania: "The Cat's Protector"

Eric Freeman
Mychal McCulley
Nateli Ruiz
Shannon Grayson
Sherrod Tate


Tale from China: "Lord of the Cranes":

Jingqiu Guan
Kelsey Manes
Kyra Sakamoto
Kristianne Salcines
Mizuki Sako


Tale from Scotland: "The Happy Man's Shirt"

Sherene Melania
Andrew Leathers
Annalise Thompson
Edgar Lepe
Hillary Mimnaugh

 

Camera Operators:

(San Francisco)
Khari Jones
Chris Bundy

(Los Angeles)
Teodora Totoiu
Michael Thomas
Nathaniel Nguyen-Le
Samia Zaidi

 

 

 

Choral Tales in Chile

December 26, 2017

  A school child in the Araucania region of Chile holds the Choral Tales logo

A school child in the Araucania region of Chile holds the Choral Tales logo

We are excited to share the news that school authorities in Temuco, a large university city and the capital of the Araucania region of Chile, have begun to use in classrooms their translation into Spanish of the first set of stories of the Choral Tales Project.  The tales, which are from Tanzania, Mexico, Scotland and China, have been given to teachers, who have begun teaching them to children in school.

Most of the children in the region's schools belong to the Mapuche community, an indigenous people whose roots in the southern Andes are estimated to date back several thousand years.  The Mapuche have succeeded in keeping their culture and language intact throughout the colonial period and to the present day.

While the Choral Tales Project at this stage is oriented primarily to young adults, we are delighted to see that children, too, are being exposed to the wisdom in these stories from around the world.  In the process they are strengthening a sense of belonging to a world wide community.

 

 

 

Choral Tales welcomes Anindo Marshall as Choreographer for Tale from Tanzania


November 29, 2017

 

Anindo_Marshall Headshot-200x300.jpg

We are delighted to announce that Professor Anindo Marshall has joined our Choral Tales team of artists.  She will be choreographing "The Cat's Protector," a tale from Tanzania which was a favorite of Nelson Mandela.

Ms. Marshall teaches Afro-Cuban dance at the University of Southern California.  She began her musical and dance career in her homeland of Kenya, as a vocalist/dancer/percussionist. While in Kenya as a young dance student in ballet, modern, jazz and African, she met Saundra Barnes, a Dunham dancer living in Kenya and teaching Dunham Technique.  Anindo studied with Ms Barnes (Ife) and in 1983 moved to the USA continuing her study of the Technique with Miss Dunham, and Dunham Masters Pearl Reynolds, Archie Savage, Lucille Ellis, Tommy Gomez, Tally Beatty, Vanove Aikens, Theo Jamison, Ronald Marshall and Keith Williams.

Ms. Marshall holds a BA from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.  She is a Certified Dunham Technique Instructor, and serves as a board member of the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification.  She has taught and continues to teach worldwide, including Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Dance Dimensions and Lula Washington Dance Theater in Los Angeles, as well as Occidental College, LMU, LACHSA.  She also conducts Dunham Technique residencies in LAUSD schools as part of the Arts Community Partnership Network, as well as conduct residencies in colleges all over the US.

 

 

 

 

 

Choreographer Jingqiu Guan Joins Choral Tales Team of Artists


November 25, 2017

 

We are happy to welcome a new member to our growing family of Choral Tales artists.  Choreographer Jingqiu Guan, based in Los Angeles, has agreed to choreograph and perform in the production of our project's folk story from China, "Lord of the Cranes."

Jingqiu Guan_Portrait.JPG

Jingqiu grew up in Chengdu, China, where her love for dance was first ignited through the study of Chinese folk and classical dance.  However, it was the exposure to modern dance after she came to the United States and to ballet when she was studying abroad in France that allowed her to discover that dancing had become her way of life.  As a recipient of an Iowa Arts Fellowship, Jingqiu had the opportunity to deepen her understanding of dance performance through an MFA program at the University of Iowa. 

Currently, Jingqiu is pursuing a doctoral degree in Culture and Performance at the Department of World Arts and Culture/Dance at UCLA.  Her research focuses on the knowledge production of dancefilm, examining the interplay of practitioners, exhibitions, and spectators in the shaping of this unique cultural practice.  Jingqiu has earned a BA in Economics and French from Saint Mary’s College and a Master’s Degree in International Education Policy from Harvard University.

 

 

 

First Choral Tales Dance Filmed in San Francisco


June 29, 2017

 

 The unhappy king finally finds a happy man... (Photo: David Tuman)

The unhappy king finally finds a happy man... (Photo: David Tuman)

We are so grateful for the large in-kind donations our project received in June.  They made it possible for us to film the first of the Choral Tales dances ahead of schedule - to the music for our tale from Scotland, "The Happy Man's Shirt." 

The choreography is by Sherene Melania, acclaimed Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer of Presidio Dance Theatre & Academy, San Francisco.   With dancing by outstanding members of the Theatre, the filming was a success and will be included in the Choral Tales productions next year.

 

 

 

 

Premiere of "The Happy Man's Shirt" Delayed


February 11, 2017

We were looking forward to the premiere of "The Happy Man's Shirt" in March.  It was to have been performed by the Chamber Choir of CSU Long Beach, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Talberg, as part of the choir's spring concert at the university.

We have now learned from Dr. Talberg that the original plans for the concert had to be suspended, because the choir has recently been hired to perform an opera of the renowned American composer, Phillip Glass, at his 80th birthday celebration! 

Congratulations to Dr. Talberg and the Chamber Choir for this additional recognition of their musical excellence!  We continue to look forward to the premiere of "The Happy Man's Shirt" on another occasion.

 

 

Choral Tales Receives Large Donations


January 12, 2017

 Chamber Choir of CSU Long Beach, performing in Wales, where they won the 2016 Choir of the World Award. This choir is to record the works of the Choral Tales Project.

Chamber Choir of CSU Long Beach, performing in Wales, where they won the 2016 Choir of the World Award. This choir is to record the works of the Choral Tales Project.

We are excited to share the news that our project is starting 2017 with large new donations.

We are ever so grateful to these friends of the project for their generosity.  Their donations carry us much closer to completing our production budget.


"The music is magnificent.  ...an extremely talented and gifted composer."

The above is a comment from a songwriter and producer in southern California, in response to the first Choral Tales piece to be composed by Ludwig Tuman, "The Happy Man's Shirt."  Here is another:

“Congratulations for all the wonderful, healing and world-uplifting work you are doing!”
~ from a friend of the project in Florida


 

Choral Tales Translated for Use in Schools in Chile


December 22, 2016

 Doris Pacheco Soto

Doris Pacheco Soto

 

We are proud to announce that the inspiring stories of the Choral Tales Project, as re-told in the words of collaborating author, Shirin Sabri, have recently been translated from English to Spanish for use in schools in a region of Chile.  Our grateful thanks to Doris Pacheco Soto, a Chilean specialist in children's education, for recognizing the educational potential in these stories, proposing the initiative to our project, and coordinating the translations.

 

"I felt like I was listening to the voices of angels.  I even imagined myself dancing..."

We continue receiving enthusiastic responses to the provisional recording prepared by Ludwig Tuman for "The Happy Man's Shirt," from all around the USA and many other countries.  This is the first of the Choral Tales for which Ludwig has composed the music.  The caption above was from a message received from a supporter of the project in the Philippines.

Another supporter, in San Mateo, California, sent this response:

“Beautiful...   I felt my breathing slowing down, and I drifted into a calm place! I can't wait to hear the next chapters in this journey.”


Choral Tales Highlighted at Gathering in EU for Anniversary of Declaration of Planetary Consciousness

The Choral Tales Project was included in the slide show at the Club of Budapest gathering, held on Dec 2-3, 2016 for the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of Planetary Consciousness.  The event was attended by speakers and guests from 25 countries.

The poster/flier shown in the slide (shown above) was created by The Arts Collaborative, one of the two non-profits sponsoring our project.

The program highlighted examples of projects around the world, including our own, that promote oneness and positive change.

 

 

National Fashion League in Hungary to Partner with Choral Tales!

December 6, 2016

 Fashion Model for Global Sustainable Fashion

Fashion Model for Global Sustainable Fashion

We are excited to announce that the National Fashion League, based in beautiful Budapest, Hungary, is partnering with the Choral Tales Project.

See their web site here:  www.fashionhungary.com/

The National Fashion League is an umbrella organization for a number of designers dedicated to sustainable fashion and the using of eco-friendly materials.  The League, which is a member of Fashion Council Europe, sees Choral Tales as a natural partner since one of the themes in the stories we are setting to music and dance is care of the environment.   

Arrangements are being made through Dr. Gabriella Walek, President of the League, and also President of Global Sustainable Fashion Week.

 
 Dr. Gabriella Walek (center), Pres. of National Fashion League and of Global Sustainable Fashion Week

Dr. Gabriella Walek (center), Pres. of National Fashion League and of Global Sustainable Fashion Week

 

Responses to First Choral Tales Piece Pour In

We have been receiving glowing responses to the music Ludwig Tuman wrote for "The Happy Man's Shirt," and the provisional recording he prepared.  Responses have been coming from all around the USA and from many other countries.  Here is a message received from a friend of the project in Beijing:

“This is absolutely stunning!!! It left me wanting more and imagining, with awe and delight, what the finished product might be like - what a tremendous accomplishment.

...It would be an honor to attend the performance, to watch this unfold on stage, whenever and wherever it is. Please keep me posted."

 

First Choral Tale to be Performed in Long Beach, California

November 15, 2016

We are grateful to share that the first piece composed by Ludwig Tuman for the Choral Tales Project - "The Happy Man's Shirt" - has been selected to be performed by the Chamber Choir of California State University, Long Beach, in their upcoming Spring Concert!

Dr. Jonathan Talberg, the choir's renowned director and head of vocal and opera studies at the University, decided to include this work in their concert shortly after Ludwig completed it and sent it to him.

To include this Choral Tales work in the university choir's selective concert repertoire was an independent decision on Dr. Talberg's part, and a high compliment. 

The concert is separate from the video recording we will eventually make of the set of four Choral Tales, with narrative dancers, once the remaining pieces are written and the fund raising is completed.

The Chamber Choir at CSU Long Beach is one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world, making regular tours around the world.

They won the prestigious 2016 international competition for "Choir of the World," in Wales, an event in which choirs from all continents took part.  All the 40+ singers are voice majors and their sound as a choir is simply glorious.

Click here to see this choir in action when they won the Choir of the World Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Ludwig Tuman 2017