The Founding Five
The Boston choral scene is a vigorous one, teeming with artistic outlets for those singers passionate about ensemble performance. Therefore, it was strange to discover that so few groups existed in the area devoted to the wealth of repertoire written throughout the centuries for men’s voice. A few trips to the bar, many email chains, and some truly horrible group name suggestions later, Renaissance Men was formed in January of 2014. From their beginnings as a sextet, the group expanded to nine in their first official season. In November of 2014, they shed, somewhat, from Boston bred early music backgrounds in favor of a program of American religious and folk music entitled RenMen Roots. The audience may have been shocked to see erstwhile Bach specialists strumming away on banjo and upright bass, but their hooting and hollering validated RenMen’s first major attempt to push repertoire boundaries. In February 2016, The Boston Globe highlighted RenMen for their groundbreaking musical retrospective, RenMen 1965, which juxtaposed traditional choral music and rock/pop songs of the year. It also included the world premiere of Five Clippings from 1965, a multi-movement work for men’s voices using texts from Boston Globe articles published in 1965, by Charles Stacy III, then a student at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In less than three years, Renaissance Men has paved their way into Boston’s cultural landscape with seven constructed concert series, the performance of several U.S. and world premieres by internationally-celebrated composers such as Patricia Van Ness and Daniel E. Gawthrop, and the garnering of a devoted following in their concerts, broadcasted live-streams, and social media outlets. Dedicated to the art of collaboration, RenMen has partnered with Boston City Singers, Ensemble Musica Humana, and in October of 2016 was featured in a talkback session on ensemble marketing and branding co-hosted by Boston Singers Resource and Greater Boston Choral Consortium. In the 2018-19 season, the ensemble will release its first album, RenMen Laments, on the Navona Reocrds |Naxos Direct labelRenaissance Men is a proud member of Chamber Music America.
Renaissance Men is comprised of Boston and New York’s most active chamber musicians, educators, and music aficionados – founded in 2014 by Anthony Burkes Garza, General Manager, Eric Christopher Perry, Artistic Director/Conductor, Will Prapestis, Social Media Consultant, Peter Schilling, Business Manager, and tenor, Alexander Nishibun.