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City-Wide Commissioning Consortium

As part of a three-year programming plan, and thanks to the generous support of the Lilly Endowment and other sponsors, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir sought to engage the larger Indianapolis community in the commissioning of a new, large scale choral-orchestral sacred masterwork. This piece, approximately 55 minutes in length, was performed by the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Children’s Choir (one of the nation’s largest and most respected children’s choruses) and guest soloists on Friday, April 24, 2015 in Indianapolis.

The new work by composer Mohammed Fairouz is titled Zabur and features text from the psalms, underscoring the commonalities between diverse faiths and persons. Unique compared to other commissions of new musical works, Zabur is the outcome of a commissioning consortium featuring diverse houses of worship from the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions, area schools including the Indianapolis Public Schools, Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary, plus other arts and civic organizations.

Since its debut locally, Zabur received its New York City debut in October 2016 at Carnegie Hall by the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Indianapolis Children’s Choir, Mimesis Ensemble with tenor Thomas Cooley and baritone Michael Kelly.

A recording of the world-premiere performance was released on the Naxos music label in 2016 as well and has been called one of the “10 best classical albums of 2016” by Napster and “exemplary” and “extraordinary” by Opera News. Click here to purchase the recording.

Objectives

  • Engage local congregations and sacred music leaders in the entire commissioning process, from initiation through performance(s).
  • Expand the choral repertoire with a new work of high-quality music, accessible to audiences and congregational musicians alike.
  • Build stronger relationships between congregational music leaders.

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