KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The winners of the 55th-annual Grammy Awards have been announced and the Kansas City Chorale, under the direction of Artistic Director Charles Bruffy, won two of the honors for its recording “Life & Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen.” Bruffy and over 20 singers, including Great Bend native Bryan Pinkall, celebrated the wins in Los Angeles at the ceremony this past Sunday.
Pinkall is in his first season with the Kansas City Chorale. He grew up in Great Bend, studying music from Connie Schneweis and Betty Erikson. He was also a member of the Great Bend High School Madrigals and A Cappella choirs under the direction of Susan Stambaugh.
Pinkall holds a Master of Music degree in Voice and Conducting Performance from Kansas State University where he also obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. He currently is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri Kansas City.
In addition to the Kansas City Chorale, Bryan has performed with many symphony orchestras, professional choirs, opera companies, and recording groups sharing the stage with many music greats including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Placido Domingo, and Aretha Franklin.
“I cannot express the excitement and shock that comes with being a part of a winning ensemble at the Grammys,” Pinkall said. “The entire experience of the Red Carpet, media, and the spectacle of the event is unforgettable.
“I owe so many people from Great Bend my greatest thanks for their support and for all my great teachers who taught me to dream big, work hard, and not be afraid to fail.”
“Life & Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen” is the first recording dedicated entirely to the music of Clausen by a professional choir – and the first solo recording for the Kansas City Chorale on Chandos Records. Winning every category it was nominated in, The Kansas City Chorale won for Best Engineered Album, Classical and Best Choral Performance. In addition, the album’s producer, Blanton Alspaugh, won the award for Best Producer – Classical.
The album also includes the world premiere recording of Clausen’s “Mass for Double Choir.” One of the most prolific choral composers of his time, Clausen’s music is known by American choirs across the country – anyone that has sung in an American college, high school, community or church choir across the United States has performed his music.
“René’s music is intimately beautiful and stirring,” Bruffy said. “His ‘Mass for Double Choir’ will in time join the ranks of favorite choral masterpieces. It was an honor and pleasure to dive into the pages and I’m thrilled with the response we’ve had from people who’ve heard it.
“Even though this level of recognition is never our goal, we find this signal of support and approval from the Academy particularly gratifying.”
In 2009, the Kansas City Chorale’s recording “Rheinberger: Sacred Choral Works” was nominated for two Grammys including Best Choral Performance and Best Surround Sound Album. In 2008, the Kansas City Chorale’s recording “Grechaninov: Passion Week” was nominated for four awards, including Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance, Best Surround Sound Album,”and won a Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Classical. Both recordings were part of a series of joint-recordings on Chandos with the Phoenix Chorale, also led by Artistic Director Charles Bruffy. For more about the Kansas City Chorale, visit KCChorale.org.