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Seraphic Fire Launches 2020-21 Season and New Strategic Initiatives

Published by Rhett Del Campo On March 9, 2020

March 9, 2020

Laura Shand
Marketing Manager | 305.692.0201


The season – which includes the second annual Enlightenment Festival and a first-ever collaboration with The Percussion Collective for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana – will set the stage for growth as Seraphic Fire works toward its vision of becoming the exemplar of quality for choral art in North America.

MIAMI – On the heels of a dynamic 18th season, Seraphic Fire is kicking off the next decade with performances that will take audiences on a vocal journey across centuries and geographies. From the intriguing works of Spanish composer Tomás Luis de Victoria to the magnificence of Carmina Burana from German composer Carl Orff – with a stopover featuring the songs of American composer Aaron Copland – the GRAMMY® nominated vocal ensemble’s 19th season also will set the stage for new initiatives and organizational growth.

“This season is full of music that is new to Seraphic Fire. Whether it be Bach’s Ascension Oratorio, Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning, or the premiere of Alvaro Bermudez’s Danzas del Silencio, Seraphic Fire will continue to perform smart, interesting, and musically excellent programs that highlight creativity across the ages,” said Artistic Director Patrick Dupré Quigley.

Seraphic Fire will begin its 2020-21 season in November with works of the Spanish Renaissance, led by Quigley. The program will feature Victoria’s six-voice Requiem, widely considered his greatest work. In preparation for the season’s opening, Seraphic Fire will travel to the University of Colorado at Boulder for a performance and education residency with coaching sessions, master classes, lectures, and live auditions for the 2021 Professional Choral Institute (PCI) at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Enlightenment Festival II and additional programs
Seraphic Fire will host its second annual Enlightenment Festival in February 2021. Featuring 10 concerts over two weeks, this year’s program will contrast the music of Johann Sebastian Bach with composers preceding his life to show the evolution of musical style from the 17th to the 18th century.

“Our first Enlightenment Festival, exploring the music of the 18th century and before, was a resounding success, delighting audiences and showcasing the eclectic performers of the Seraphic Fire ensemble. The Enlightenment Festival’s second installment will feature one of Bach’s great showpieces, the Ascension Oratorio, along with music for the Duke of Chandos by G.F. Handel. Surrounding these Festival concerts will be discovery concerts exploring the music of the century before Bach and Handel,” said Quigley.

Quigley will lead Seraphic Fire in two additional programs, closing out the season in April 2021 with Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, a powerful and exuberant celebration of music, magic, and mysticism. The performances will feature a collaboration with The Percussion Collective and the debut of a new work by Emmy Award-winning composer Garth Neustadter.

Associate conductor James K. Bass leads two programs this season: Seraphic Fire’s Christmas program in December, featuring seven concerts and including beautiful Gregorian chant, timeless carols, and glorious motets; and Music of the French Impressionists, featuring Debussy and Ravel in March 2021.

Professional Choral Institute: Year 3
August 2020 will mark Seraphic Fire’s third appearance at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Designed to prepare emerging vocal artists to work in the growing industry of professional ensemble singing, this year’s PCI will include the premiere of a piece written by a student composer and feature works by women composers over the ages. The second half of the concert will be dedicated to Handel’s masterpiece, the Dixit Dominus. PCI will culminate in a joint performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Festival Orchestra in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday.

“Part of our educational mission is to provide opportunities for students to connect with, learn from, and perform with Seraphic Fire. PCI fulfills this mission and gives emerging professional artists vital experience working alongside Seraphic Fire veterans,” said Dr. Thomas C. Boyd, Board Chair.

Growing Seraphic Fire’s Youth Initiative
In the second year of its growth phase, Seraphic Fire’s Youth Initiative will add an additional in-school residency program, where a resident teacher will be embedded in a South Florida school to work with 3rd through 5th graders twice a week, beginning September 2020. Seraphic Fire is doubling the number of education concerts due to increased demand for artistic community outreach from area schools.

Pursuing excellence in 2020 and beyond
Underscoring all of the above, Seraphic Fire is launching its first-ever strategic plan in 2020, setting the stage for broader impact within the choral community. The organization will focus on expanding in four areas: musical experiences, engagement through education, recording and documentation, and product and organizational development.

“We’ve taken a step back to look at the organization holistically as we approach the next decade,” said Executive Director Rhett M. Del Campo. “The result of that is a plan which will enable us to achieve our vision to elevate not only Seraphic Fire as a professional ensemble, but the choral industry as a whole.”

Musical experiences: A redesigned concert season will allow for stronger performances, ensuring use of the best talent for each program and elevating the quality of the music. With greater flexibility to bring more voices together, Seraphic Fire will be able to honor the nature of each piece in settings that also enrich the occasion for audiences.

Engagement through education: To increase the impact Seraphic Fire has on its communities, the organization will focus on broadening its educational programs. Locally, Seraphic Fire will engage more South Florida schools through workshops, masterclasses, and residencies. Nationally, the Professional Choral Institute at the Aspen Music Festival will expand to allow for additional paths of study.

Recording and documentation: The third area of focus will allow Seraphic Fire to create a body of work that defines and advances choral music. Through annual and archival recording projects, the organization will increase its audience base, gain radio play, and expand the life of each performance.

Product and organizational development: The fourth area of focus will offer opportunities for Seraphic Fire artists and administrators to advance their expertise through professional development, such as mentoring opportunities and subsidized development and education activities.

“Looking ahead to our next season, we’re grateful to have the opportunity to grow, expand, and improve our artistry and our organization in ways that better the experience for our audiences, our staff, and our supporters,” said Del Campo. “We look forward to building an even stronger foundation moving forward with the help of our audiences and those as passionate as we are about choral music.”

Subscriptions for the 2020-2021 Season go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 3rd, and will be available online at and by phone at 305.285.9060.


Maria of Spain & Tomás Luis de Victoria
Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor

Sometimes an especially intriguing person – in this case Maria of Spain, a future Holy Roman Empress – inspires a composer – Victoria – to produce a commensurately intriguing work. Who was the woman whose connection to Victoria elicited his deeply personal Requiem?

Born in 1528 to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, Maria was part of the most elite royal family in Europe and was a patron of the greatest musical artists of her time. As a child at the Spanish court under Charles V, and later serving as regent for her father and brother (Philip II), Maria daily encountered the most famous choir in the world: the Cappila Flemenca. In 1548 Maria married her first cousin Archduke Maximilian and in 1564 became Holy Roman Empress and Archduchess of Austria. In Vienna Maria had at her disposal the musical establishment of the Imperial Hapsburg Court. After the death of her husband, Maxmillian II, Maria retired to the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales (The Convent of the Royal Barefooted) in Madrid and had as her personal chapelmaster the inimitable Tomás Luis de Victoria. Upon her death, Victoria composed his six-voice Requiem, arguably the composer’s greatest work and a testament to Maria’s legacy.

Fri, Nov 6, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Nov 7, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Nov 8, 4:00pm | Boca Raton
Tue, Nov 10, 7:30pm | Miami

Program to include:
Plainchant by Anonymous
Motets by Thomas Crequillon, Nicolas Gombert, Pierre Manchicourt, Philippe Rogier
Requiem a 6 by Tomás Luis de Victoria

A Seraphic Fire Christmas
James K. Bass, conductor

From the traditional opening strains of Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful), Seraphic Fire’s annual a cappella candlelight Christmas concerts are a highlight of the cultural season. The world’s most recognizable yuletide hymn, Silent Night, serves as the centerpiece for this year’s Christmas musical celebration. Beautiful Gregorian chant, timeless carols, and glorious motets create a holiday soundscape that transports the listener across time and space.

Tue, Dec 8, 7:00pm | Naples
Thu, Dec 10, 7:00pm | Boca Raton
Fri, Dec 11, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Dec 12, 7:30pm | Miami Beach
Sun, Dec 13, 7:00pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Wed, Dec 16, 7:30pm | Miami
Fri, Dec 18, 7:30pm | Coral Gables

Program to include:
O Come, All Ye Faithful by John Francis Wade
Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree by Elizabeth Poston
Silent Night by Franz Xavier Gruber

Copland: Simple Gifts
Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor

Aaron Copland wrote his two sets of Old American Songs for the great tenor Peter Pears and singular baritone William Warfield. From publication forward they were a national treasure, presenting American song tunes in the formal concert hall, placing the American folk idiom on the same stage as Mozart and Beethoven. Containing Simple Gifts, At the River, The Little Horses, Zion’s Walls, and many more, the Old American Songs stand as one of the great testaments of American musical life. Clara Osowski is mezzo-soprano soloist in Copland’s remarkable In the Beginning. Also on this program is the premiere of Beloved of the Sky by Canadian composer Tawnie Olson, winner of the 2018 Barlow Prize. Olson, whose music is described as glorious, ethereal, and mesmerizing, draws inspiration from politics, spirituality, and the natural world.

Thu, Jan 21, 7:00pm | Naples
Fri, Jan 22, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Jan 23, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Jan 24, 4:00pm | Miami Beach

Program to include:
Old American Songs by Aaron Copland
In the Beginning by Aaron Copland
Danzas del Silencio by Alvaro Bermudez
Beloved of the Sky* by Tawnie Olson
*Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University

The Enlightenment Festival II

Seraphic Fire’s Enlightenment Festival returns by popular demand in 2021 with engaging programs of 18th Century music, and its origins. The musicians of Seraphic Fire will explore the relationship between George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach – and their musical predecessors Henry Purcell and Claudio Monteverdi. Chamber music performances and larger Festival concerts will paint a vivid portrait of some of history’s most remarkable music innovators.

Monteverdi and the Madrigal
Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor

Claudio Monteverdi is represented by an evening dedicated to his madrigals, including the Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda from the Madrigals of Love and War. Heinrich Schutz’s thrilling and virtuosic motets and his masterpiece, the Musikalische Exequien, introduce us to the heights of German composition before Bach.

Thu, Feb 18, 7:30pm | Miami
Fri, Feb 19, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Feb 20, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Feb 21, 4:00pm | Boca Raton

Bach and the Cantata
Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor

The festival concludes with two of Bach’s cantatas (BWV 62 & BWV 180) and his triumphant Ascension Oratorio, with soloists Margot Rood and Nola Richardson, soprani, John Buffett, baritone, and others. Rich, concise, and surprisingly melodic, the Ascension Oratorio has it all – joyful trumpet writing, a stunning aria so poignant that Bach went on to use it in the B Minor Mass, and profound choral music illustrating the vastness of the heavens.

Thu, Feb 25, 7:00pm | Naples
Fri, Feb 26, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Feb 27, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Feb 28, 4:00pm | Miami Beach

MARCH 2021
The Impressionists: Music of Debussy and Ravel
James K. Bass, conductor

Seraphic Fire and conductor/curator Dr. James K. Bass take the audience on an aural journey to a late 19th century Parisian salon. Close your eyes and let this immersive music wash over you. Solo chanson, choral gems, piano miniatures, and harp soundscapes will surround the listener in this experiential concert.

Wed, Mar 17, 7:30pm | Miami
Thu, Mar 18, 7:00pm | Naples
Fri, Mar 19, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Mar 20, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Mar 21, 4:00pm | Miami Beach

Program to include:
Chansons, piano works, and music for harp by Debussy, Ravel, and others.

APRIL 2021
Carmina Burana
Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor

O Fortuna! Carl Orff’s exuberant celebration of music, magic, and mysticism is the predecessor to the modern-day movie score. With all the edge-of-your-seat vocal pyrotechnics of a choral action/adventure film, Carmina Burana remains one of the most recognizable musical pieces of all time. Seraphic Fire is joined by The Percussion Collective, an extraordinary new group that “brings the audience a level of artistry, beauty, and insight more commonly found in great string quartets.” (Beijing Morning Post) This blockbuster of a concert will keep you humming for hours after the curtain comes down.

Thu, Apr 22, 7:00pm | Naples
Fri, Apr 23, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Apr 24, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Apr 25, 3:00pm | Boca Raton

Program to include:
New Work by Garth Neustadter
Carmina Burana by Carl Orff


Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor, is the Founder and Artistic Director of Seraphic Fire. He has guest conducted the San Francisco Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, New World Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Mobile Symphony Orchestra, and the Naples Philharmonic. Last season, Mr. Quigley debuted with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and New Jersey Symphony.

​Over the 18 years of Mr. Quigley’s tenure as Artistic Director, Seraphic Fire has grown to annually present forty-five concerts over eight subscription programs. The organization’s multiple educational outreach programs (Seraphic Fire Youth Initiative; StudentAccess; Seraphic Fire UCLA Ensemble Artist Program; the Professional Choral Institute at the Aspen Music Festival) reach thousands of students, from elementary to graduate school. The Seraphic Fire Media catalog contains 13 titles; two are recipients of GRAMMY® nominations.

​Mr. Quigley holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music, an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and has pursued further professional studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Fundraising School.


James K. Bass, three-time GRAMMY®-nominated singer and conductor, is Professor and Director of Choral Studies at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. He is the Associate Conductor and Director of Education for the Miami based ensemble Seraphic Fire and is the Artistic Director of the Long Beach Camerata Singers.

Bass is an active soloist and ensemble artist. In 2017 he made his Cleveland Orchestra solo debut singing with Franz Welser-Möst and the orchestra in Miami and in Severance Hall, Cleveland. Other engagements as soloist include the New World Symphony with Michael Tilson-Thomas, The Florida Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Back Bay Chorale and Orchestra, Firebird Chamber Orchestra, and The Sebastians.

He has appeared with numerous professional vocal ensembles including Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Apollo Master Chorale, Vox Humanae, True Concord and Spire. He was the featured baritone soloist on the GRAMMY nominated recording Pablo Neruda: The Poet Sings with fellow singer Lauren Snouffer, conductor Craig Hella-Johnson and the GRAMMY winning ensemble Conpirare. He is one of 13 singers on the GRAMMY®-nominated disc A Seraphic Fire Christmas and appears on CD recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Albany, and Seraphic Fire Media labels.

Bass was selected by the master conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Soloists, Ton Koopman, to be one of only 20 singers for a presentation of Cantatas by J. S. Bach in Carnegie Hall and was an auditioned member of Robert Shaw’s workshop choir at Carnegie. He has appeared as conductor with the Florida Orchestra during their annual education concerts.

During his tenure as Artistic Director for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, the official chorus of the Florida Orchestra, he was responsible for five recordings and multiple world premieres. In 2012, he served as chorusmaster and co-editor for the Naxos recording entitled Delius: Sea Drift and Appalachia featuring the Florida Orchestra and conducted by Stefan Sanderling. In 2014, he was the principal preparer for the recording Holiday Pops Live! conducted by the principal pops conductor Jeff Tyzik. During his tenure as a chorusmaster he has prepared choirs for Sir Colin Davis, Sir David Willcocks, Jahja Ling, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, Giancarlo Guerrero, Michael Francis, Marcelo Lehninger, Stefan Sanderling, Evan Rogister, Danail Rachlev, Joshua Weilerstein, Markus Huber, David Lockington, Xian Zhang, Patrick Quigley and Neal Stulberg.

His professional career has coincided with the development of Seraphic Fire as one of the premier vocal ensembles in the U.S. He has been actively involved as soloist, ensemble artist, editor, producer and preparer for 14 of the ensembles recordings and routinely conducts the ensemble in Miami and on tour. During the summer of 2011, he co-founded the Professional Choral Institute. In its inaugural year of recording, Seraphic Fire and PCI received the GRAMMY® nomination for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deuthches Requiem. As the Director of Education for the ensemble he has been involved with annual events that service more than 2000 students in the Miami-Dade county area each year. In 2017, Seraphic Fire and UCLA launched a new educational initiative entitled the Ensemble Artist Program that aims to identify and train the next generation of high-level ensemble singers.

Bass received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami, where he was a doctoral fellow, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy.


At the pinnacle of his legendary career, performer and pedagogue Robert van Sice has assembled a stunning collection of young artists who are reinventing the concert experience. The Percussion Collective transcends the medium of percussion through uncommon performance experiences that surprise and engage audiences at a profound emotional level. The hallmarks of van Sice’s musical approach—precise execution, sonic refinement, and dynamic onstage communication—are all on display in the most vivid manner to date. Drawing from an incomparably rich bouquet of talent, The Percussion Collective flexes in size offering exquisitely curated programs for an array of venues and settings.

“The extraordinary Percussion Collective…brought the audience a level of artistry, beauty, and insight more commonly found in great string quartets.” – Beijing Morning Post, October 2018

Their inaugural season included concerts throughout the United States and a tour to China featuring performances of Emmy Award winning composer Garth Neustadter’s Seaborne in Shanghai Symphony Hall, the stunning Jiangsu Grand Theatre in Nanjing, and the exquisite Temple in Beijing. The tour was received with resounding critical acclaim. A performance with the Oregon Symphony and maestro Carlos Kalmar saw The Percussion Collective’s first orchestral showcase with the world premiere of the Christopher Theofanidis percussion concerto, Drum Circles. In this piece, four members of The Percussion Collective and the orchestra’s own percussion section surround the orchestra in a circle, creating an extraordinary spatial and theatrical effect.

The Percussion Collective’s 2019-2020 season began with performances of Drum Circles with The Aspen Festival Orchestra and maestro Michael Stern, The Hartford Symphony and maestra Carolyn Kuan and The Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Verizon Hall. Further performances include the Baltimore Symphony, Colorado Symphony and Grant Park Orchestra.

“The four percussionists worked together so seamlessly that they almost seemed to share kind of psychic connection. Hearing (and seeing) them perform was a pure joy.” – Hartford Courant, November 2019

In October, the orchestrated version of Seaborne saw its premiere in two highly lauded performances with maestro Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra. The Percussion Collective will make its first recital appearance in Europe this Spring, performing in the Musikverein in Vienna, Amsterdam ’s legendary Concertgebouw, the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and Munich’s exquisite Allerheiligen-Hofkirche. The group will also release its first CD later this season.

The roster of The Percussion Collective includes some of the world’s most esteemed and dynamic young voices in the art form. They are drawn from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Camerata Pacifica, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble as well as faculty members from universities such as Miami’s Frost School of Music, Michigan State University, the University of Massachusetts, Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, and the University of Kansas. Featuring players from Europe, Asia, and the US, this new generation of virtuosi represent the leading edge of innovation in concert conception and performance.

(Last updated January 2020)