Revisit: American Classical Orchestra Presents “The Chaconne Project” At Harlem Parish

Revisit: American Classical Orchestra (ACO) returns to the Harlem Parish performing The Chaconne Project directed by ACO founder Thomas Crawford on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 pm.

Photo credits: American Classical Orchestra with Guadalupe Peraza performing The Chaconne Project, Nov. 2020 at Harlem Parish, courtesy of ACO.

The production features a Chamber ensemble of Orchestra members and Mexican mezzo-soprano Guadalupe Peraza in a lively program of Baroque repertoire featuring the chaconne, a musical genre that began as bawdy 16th-century dances in Spanish culture. The chamber concert was initially scheduled for February 3, but was postponed due to the Omicron variant.

American Classical Orchestra was founded in 1984 as the Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy. Later on, renamed the American Classical Orchestra in 1999. After some time, Founder Thomas Crawford established its new and permanent home in New York City in 2005. Because they only preform music from the 17th, 18th, and 19th century, their mission is to present the music as the composers might have heard it in their time. By using certain instruments and techniques, the American Classical Orchestra is “supremely skilled musicians” (Theater Scene) have won critical praise for its recordings, educational programs, and concerts.

Thomas Crawford, is highly skilled in historically accurate performance styles in Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic music. Throughout his life he has founded two Connecticut orchestras: the Fairfield Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy. A passionate activist determined to bring the beauty of period music to a wider audience, Mr. Crawford’s educational activities with the Orchestra received a Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth award from the National Endowment for the Arts, recognizing the ACO’s dynamic music outreach to New York City schoolchildren. A Pennsylvania native, he holds degrees in organ performance and composition from the Eastman School of Music and Columbia University.

Photo credits: American Classical Orchestra with Guadalupe Peraza performing The Chaconne Project, Nov. 2020 at Harlem Parish, courtesy of ACO.

The show, Revisit: The Chaconne Projectwas filmed at Harlem Parish. The use of harmonies create 10 vibrant examples of chaconne, a genre of music categorized by its repeating bass line. The director, Thomas Crawford, leads the audience through an aroma of musical instruments compromised through strings, voice and percussion. Revisit will showcase Guadalupe Peraza, who appeared as featured soloist with the New York Virtuoso Singers and at the majestic Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris in Mexico City. 

Tickets, priced at $35 and $55, are available at aconyc.org or by calling American Classical Orchestra at (212) 362-2727. Ticket holders will need to follow the venue’s guidelines and show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 in order to enter the building. The show will begin on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 pm, Harlem Parish, 258 W 118th St.

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