One of this country's oldest choruses, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia seeks to advance the development of choral music as an art form. Founded in 1874, the Mendelssohn Club's rich musical history includes the American premiere of Mahler's Eighth Symphony and the Philadelphia premieres of Brahms' Ein Deutches Requiem and Britten's War Requiem. In 2014, Mendelssohn Club will present BIG SING/Julia Wolfe, the culmination of a two-year project around the commission of a new, hybrid choral work by composer Julia Wolfe, co-founder of New York City new music collective Bang on a Can and a runner-up for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Wolfe has collected and incorporated stories from the chorus and the community at large in order to create this work, which will be composed for a 130+ voice chorus with the Bang on a Can All-Stars in a chamber/folk ensemble configuration.
Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia performed the regional premiere of Roberto Sierra's Missa Latina at Girard College Chapel under the baton of Artistic Director Alan Harler. The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, and baritone Nathaniel Webster joined them. Taller Puertorriqueno—a North Kensington organization dedicated to preserving, developing, and celebrating the arts of Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the Caribbean—facilitated educational events with Sierra.