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Profile: Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill Group in Residence The Crossing

One of the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill's groups in residence, The Crossing is conducted by Donald Nally. Nally, who in September will take on the role of interim music director for all of PCCH, first brought The Crossing to the church in 2006.

Conducted by , The Crossing hosted their first concert in November of 2005.  A group of friends that had worked with Nally in the past reunited to sing at St. Mark’s Church in Philadelphia.  One year later they took up residence at the (PCCH) and they’ve remained there ever since.  

“We don’t stray very far from the Chestnut Hill Church,” said Nally.  “The church’s gift to The Crossing has been to allow us to have our home there.”

Nally, who will be taking over as   at PCCH come September, said performing at the church is an amazing experience. 

“It’s a great congregation there,” he said.  “The sanctuary has great acoustics, a wonderful organ - there’s nothing not to like.  It’s a real privilege to be asked to be a conductor there.”

Currently on hiatus for the summer, The Crossing will be making their New York City Debut in September at Miller Theater, Columbia University.  

Fans will have to wait a few more months to see them at PCCH though. 

“Next time we’ll be at Chestnut Hill is in January,” said Nally.  “We’ll be doing Kile Smith’s, Vespers -  a collaboration with [another of PCCH’s groups in residence] Piffaro.”

Sticking solely to modern choral music, The Crossing has performed a Month of Moderns every year since taking up residence at PCCH.  

“The Month of Moderns is just part of our season,” said Nally.  “But it’s a very big part.  Every summer we do three concerts in a single month.  It’s all contemporary choral music written in the last 15 years. Many of the pieces we do were written specifically for us.  It’s sort of just a good taste of what The Crossing does.”

Just completing this year's Month of Moderns in June, The ensemble has proven quite popular throughout Chestnut Hill and the surrounding areas.  

Minister at PCCH, Cynthia Jarvis, said there‘s not an empty seat in the house when The Crossing performs.  

“Their last two shows literally packed the congregation, packed the balcony,” said Jarvis.  “There are a lot of other places you can go to hear praise bands, but the quality of the music is of the utmost importance to us here - we have a real commitment to excellence.  The organizations that come into our sanctuary take us as their home and we’re very proud to have The Crossing here.” 

More info about The Crossing can be found at PCCH’s website -

http://www.crossingchoir.com 

Or at PCCH’s site -

http://www.chestnuthillpres.org 

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