About Albany Pro Musica
Albany Pro Musica (APM) is the preeminent choral ensemble in New York’s vibrant Capital Region and is renowned for its distinctive artistic style and mastery of a wide range of musical genres. Critically acclaimed for its performances of intimate a cappella pieces and large-scale choral works alike, APM is led by Opalka Family Artistic Director Dr. José Daniel Flores-Caraballo and is Chorus-in-Residence at the historic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Maestro Flores-Caraballo has led APM since 2014 and has elevated the ensemble through ambitious programming, prestigious national and international collaborations, a renewed commitment to civic and educational engagement, and a bold vision for the future.
Locally and Internationally Celebrated
Albany Pro Musica’s reputation as a world-class chorus attracts large, diverse audiences who encourage newer, bolder projects to satisfy their growing desire for exposure to a rich choral repertoire. It’s also a draw for distinguished guest conductors, soloists, and composers, including composers-in-residence Bradley Ellingboe (2020-21 season) and Ola Gjeilo (2017-2020 seasons) who partner with APM for concerts, premieres, and commissioned works. In addition to long-standing hometown collaborations with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, the Capital District Youth Chorale, and others, APM has developed exciting new relationships with numerous internationally renowned musicians and ensembles, including Canadian Brass, the American String Quartet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Vienna Boys Choir, the Escher String Quartet, and The King’s Singers.
Voices Capturing the Human Spirit
Albany Pro Musica is celebrating its fortieth season as a driving musical force in the Capital Region, the Northeast, and beyond. At the heart of Albany Pro Musica is the vital realization that choral music at its best is not merely entertainment but rather a transformational and emotional experience for performers and audiences alike. This perspective is reflected in Opalka Family Artistic Director Dr. Flores-Caraballo’s vision for APM, which balances exceptional technical competency, exquisite artistry, and purposeful programming that is relevant and meaningful in today’s society.
Under the leadership of Dr. Flores-Caraballo, APM is continuing to push the boundaries of choral performance in the area, embracing challenging musical programming and innovative new partnerships that elevate the ensemble to new heights. Dr. Flores-Caraballo has laid out a bold plan for APM’s future that includes the premieres of commissioned works; concerts across the northeast; new civic events and partnerships; and the inaugural Pro Musica International Choral Festival, which will be offered in 2022 in partnership with the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University in Ontario and in collaboration with the University at Albany.
Albany Pro Musica’s Concert Chorus is composed of 64 auditioned volunteer singers from several counties and states. For large choral and orchestral masterworks, the group expands to more than 100 singers as the Albany Pro Musica Masterworks Chorus and is often joined by the instrumentalists of Orchestra Pro Musica. Albany Pro Musica offers four series concerts each season, including “Artist Series” concerts which bring world-renowned artists and ensembles to share the stage with APM; “Masterworks Series” performances of oratorios and other large-scale choral works with orchestra; and an annual Christmas program, which has become a wonderful holiday tradition in the region. Each season is deliberately curated to include classical masterpieces from the choral canon, new compositions from modern and contemporary composers, and popular selections from the worlds of Broadway, traditional and folk music, and more.
In an innovative response to the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and associated shutdowns, APM will present an entirely virtual concert series during the 2020-21 season. Albany Pro Musica will open our 40th anniversary season with “A Capital Region Renaissance,” featuring multiple small ensembles performing Renaissance music in some of the area’s most iconic and beautiful locations. The concert will include commentary about the Capital Region’s renaissance, featuring Opalka Family Artistic Director José Daniel Flores-Caraballo and other local leaders. In December, we will present “The Best of the Many Moods of Christmas,” featuring favorite selections from our recent holiday performances including the unforgettable voice of world-renowned tenor Rafael Davila and the world premiere of Steve Murray’s Christmas at Sea. This concert will include a behind-the-scenes conversation with Flores-Caraballo and Davila. In February, we will offer the annual High School Choral Festival, reimagined for the virtual learning space. In March, APM will partner with the Musicians of Ma’alwyck to present “Celtic Dreams…How Can I Keep from Singing?” featuring traditional Celtic and folk favorites. The concert will include commentary by local experts and authors about the artistic and economic legacy of immigrants from Ireland and across the British Isles. As our world emerges from the tragedy that the COVID-19 pandemic has shrouded us in, APM will close this unusual season in May with “From Despair…Light!”, an emotional journey from fear, conflict, and death to joy, peace, love and redemption. That concert will feature the world premiere of The Old Oak Tree by composer-in-residence Bradley Ellingboe, a performance by renowned violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn, and compositions by Morten Lauridsen, Arvo Pärt, Eric Whitacre, Jake Runestad, Stephen Paulus, and Steve Murray.
Our Commitment to Education
Music education is one of APM’s pillars, and the organization’s educational programs have made a mark on the lives of more than 3,500 young students in the Capital Region and beyond. APM’s annual High School Choral Festival typically brings together hundreds of gifted musicians from regional high schools for an intensive day of rehearsal and performance with Maestro Flores-Caraballo joined by a guest composer or conductor of national prominence. During the 2020-21 season, the festival will adopt a virtual format and will feature a multi-session, online curriculum that includes rehearsal guidance, sectionals, and music appreciation. Students and educators will complete these educational modules on demand throughout the fall of 2020 and submit individual recordings of a recent composition by APM Composer-in-Residence Dr. Bradley Ellingboe. The student recordings will be combined into a “virtual choir” performance of Ellingboe’s work, which will be premiered at the culminating event of the festival, held on January 23 for all participants. That event will also include a panel discussion with Dr. Ellingboe and APM’s Opalka Family Artistic Director Dr. José Daniel Flores-Carballo, in which the speakers will share their insights into choral composition, conducting, and performance.
APM will partner with the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University in Ontario and the University at Albany to offer the inaugural Pro Musica International Choral Festival in summer 2022. The festival represents APM’s largest educational offering to-date and will be an opportunity for students from across the United States and Canada to study and perform with distinguished faculty and world-class musicians. Generous funding from Bader Philanthropies, Inc. provides full fellowships to all participating students, allowing the Pro Musica International Choral Festival to waive the tuition and room & board fees for every attending student.
Due to the unusual format of this season, APM’s instrumental masterclasses, offered in collaboration with the Empire State Youth Orchestra, as well as our highly selective youth apprenticeships, will not be offered. We look forward to presenting them again in future seasons.
To perform a broad spectrum of quality choral music at the highest levels of artistic excellence that inspires and transforms our audiences and to provide exceptional educational experiences that advance the choral art among new generations of singers.
Albany Pro Musica will be a leader in choral excellence and choral music appreciation in the New York State Capital Region, the Northeast and beyond ―― bridging cultures, ethnicities, and generations.
Excellence in performance and repertoire;
Dedication to inspiring new generations of singers;
Commitment to engaging expanded and broadly diverse audiences.