Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre will perform with his choral choir, the Eric Whitacre Singers, at the Basilica of St. Josaphat in March as part of his six-stop U.S. tour titled "Music for Sacred Spaces."
The concert will be held on March 7, 2017 as a fundraiser for the St. Josaphat Basilica Foundation's $7.5 million capital campaign to make major repairs to the basilica's masonry, roof and stained glass windows.
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“We are thrilled to be hosting Eric Whitacre and the Eric Whitacre Singers at The Basilica of St. Josaphat,” said Susan Rabe, president and chief executive officer of the St. Josaphat Basilica Foundation.“It is a true honor to be hosting this world-renowned composer and conductor and his choir on their second tour of the Unites States in one of Milwaukee’s most historic buildings. Hearing this acclaimed ensemble’s mellifluous music in such a beautiful and acoustically resonant space is certain to delight all those in attendance.”
The 115-year-old basilica, which is considered one of Milwaukee's most significant architectural assets, has structural issues caused by years of wear.
The Basilica Foundation said deterioration has reached “epic proportions,” and needs to be addressed immediately to preserve its legacy and protect its historic designation. The basilica is listed as both a local and national historic landmark.
According to the Basilica Foundation, around 50,000 visitors come to St. Josaphat each year, some from places around the world such as Turkey, Australia, Brazil, India, Korea, France and Chile.
In addition to Milwaukee, Whitacre, a graduate of the prestigious Julliard School of Music, will perform in Durham, North Carolina; Annville, Pennsylvania; Storrs, Connecticut; New York City; and Minneapolis, Minnesota during his U.S. tour. He will also debut a new piece written specifically for the "Music For Sacred Spaces" tour.
The performance at the basilica will be the first in Milwaukee and Wisconsin for Whitacre and his European-based choir.
Tickets for the concert are already being sold on the Basilica Foundation's website and range in price from $30 to $80.