New Choral Music Documentary AMERICAN VOICES Features Personal Stories of Renowned Contemporary Choral Composers Premieres Nov. 1 on PBS SoCal

JP Shields


Featuring Preeminent Choral Composers Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli and Morten Lauridsen

(Pictured: Pacific Chorale.Courtesy of PBS SoCal.)

Burbank, Calif. – Oct. 18, 2019 – PBS SoCal, Southern California’s home for the premieres of new PBS programs, announced today the debut of a new 30-minute documentary special about choral music called AMERICAN VOICES. The documentary will feature the personal stories of some of the leading contemporary choral composers in the country including Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli and Morten Lauridsen, each of whom figure prominently in the current concert scene. The film premieres Fri., Nov. 1, at 8:30 p.m. PT on PBS SoCal (preceded by a special musical-themed edition of LAaRT at 8 p.m. and followed by the broadcast of “42nd Street” on GREAT PERFORMANCES). Following the broadcast, the film will stream at and on the free PBS Video app (available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, the App Store and Google Play), as well as on YouTube.

The interviews for AMERICAN VOICES are set against the backdrop of a broad-range look at choral music, first from a historical context and then a modern perspective. Filled with music and song from acclaimed and award-winning regional groups that include the Pacific Chorale and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the film covers the trends, impact, changes and popularity of the music form. The most popular art form in terms of total participation, choral music reaches across the age divide as well as socio and economic boundaries.  AMERICAN VOICES explains how music has affected the world at large and explores the stories and impact of those who make us want to sing.

AMERICAN VOICES Interviews Include:

Eric Whitacre: One of the few artists who consistently sells records and CDs that top the billboard charts of his particular genre, Whitacre is primarily known as a choral composer – familiar to just about every Glee Club participant across the country.

Morten Lauridsen: The most frequently performed American choral composer in modern history, Lauridsen has spent his lifetime listening in deep silence to the ‘inner song’, bringing forth choral works for the world to hear and sing.

Frank Ticheli: Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California, Ticheli was the Pacific Symphony’s composer in residence from 1991 to 1998, composing numerous works including some that have become standards in concert band repertoire.

John Alexander: Artistic Director of the Pacific Chorale from 1972-2017, Alexander discusses the importance and qualities of American choral music and a remarkable career building a world class choir.

Dana Goia: An American poet and writer, Goia’s poems have been put to music and performed worldwide. Gioia has published five books of poetry and three volumes of literary criticism as well as opera libretti, song cycles, translations, and over two dozen literary anthologies. He served as the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) between 2003 and 2009.

AMERICAN VOICES is a production of PBS SoCal and is made possible by the generous support of Mary and Phil Lyons.

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PBS SoCal is a donor-supported community institution that is a part of Public Media Group of Southern California, the flagship PBS station for 19 million diverse people across California formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group.  PBS SoCal delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. We offer the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns; and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George. Our programs are accessible for free through four broadcast channels, and available for streaming at, on the PBS mobile apps, and via connected TV services Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.