2010 in Review

December 29, 2010

Well, here it is— the last gasps of 2010.  On the one hand, it seems like we just watched the ball drop on 2009.  On the other, last winter seems like a lifetime ago.

It’s been a huge year for New York Polyphony— full of ups and downs, but mostly ups.  Big ups, actually.  Tudor City, our 2nd CD, was released in March and I don’t think any of us were prepared for the impact it was to make: consistently good reviews, “CD of the Week” honors in major radio markets, a big feature on NPR’s All Things Considered….  Thanks to strong sales and airplay, we spent 3 weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard’s classical album chart, made it to the Top 5 on iTunes classical, and hit #1 on Amazon’s MP3 albums list!

Our touring schedule grew considerably in 2010, resulting in concerts in (at least) 15 states.  In addition, we made our mainland European debut in July at Denmark’s Vendsyssel Festival in a concert that went out “live” on Danish National Radio… a somewhat terrifying first for NYP!  A concert at the Oslodomkirke (thanks to our good friend Andrew Smith) with the Consortium Vocale Oslo rounded out our brief European excursion.  These shows marked founding member Scott Dispensa’s final performances with the band.

In early 2010, Scott was offered a full-time position in the Metropolitan Opera chorus.  As much vocal chamber music-making was close to Scott’s heart, it was too good an offer to pass up.  So, in August, we bid adieu to Scott and opened up a new chapter in the book of NYP with baritone Christopher Herbert.  What could’ve been a bumpy ride (we have A LOT of music in our repertoire) was anything but.  In fact, the transition was so smooth and organic, it’s hard to imagine a time when Chris wasn’t with us.  Like Scott, he’s an enthusiastic collaborator, a terrific singer and a good friend.  Plus, he brings formidable (mad?) administration skills to the table. When you add it all up, the past six months are less a reboot than a rebirth!

In the Fall, we zig-zagged across the country in cars, trains and planes, performing a dizzyingly wide range of repertoire in locations as close as Connecticut and as far-flung as La Jolla, California.  Radio appearances, newspaper interviews, video podcasts, choral workshops— you name it, we did it… and somehow managed to remain on speaking terms.

And topping off this year-in-review posting, I’m excited to report that Minnesota Public Radio’s Valerie Kahler ranked NYP’s Tudor City among the Best of 2010 the latest installment of New Classical Tracks. Listen to the whole program online.

Yes, 2010 was great, but it wasn’t entirely our doing.  You are very much a partner in our success.  Without listeners, concert attendees, loyal Tweeps, Facebook friends and early-music-loving fans like you, we would just be sitting around Geoff’s kitchen table singing madrigals to each other.  So, thanks very much for your support.

2011 promises to build on the success of 2010.  Check this space for updates and new blog entries.

And check out our Facebook page for a special 2010 Highlights photo album.