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Performances in the outdoors at WMPAC

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The Crossing returns to Big Sky for their annual summer residency performing on Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WARREN MILLER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

WARREN MILLER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

BIG SKY – On the heels of this winter’s massively successful cross-country skiing and piano concert experience, the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center is presenting another immersive outdoor art experience. This time, the Grammy-winning choir The Crossing returns to Big Sky for their annual summer residency, during which they incubate new work. The Crossing will present two concerts, one on Friday, July 30 and the second on Saturday, July 31.

Thanks to a new mobilized technology, winkingly called Ex Covid Haptotropic Optimistic Electrophonic Sound, or, ECHOES, the first performance will take place across the landscape of Jack Creek Preserve. Members of the choir will be spread throughout the high mountain meadow above Moose Creek with portable speakers that collect and amplify their voices. Audience members will walk through the forest at whatever pace they like, encountering singers as they explore the landscape.

“The experience is the perfect reflection of our joint isolation during the past year and a half of the pandemic,” said John Zirkle, executive director of WMPAC. “There are rich metaphors available about an individual’s relationship to a group and a tree’s relationship to the forest, but it will also be just a really cool way to hear gorgeous music in a spectacular setting.”

The following evening, audience members will drive to Cache Creek Outfitters, a 15 minute drive up the Moose Creek forest service road off of Highway 191 between Big Sky and Gallatin Gateway. Eventgoers will park at Cache Creek Outfitters, and then walk for 10-15 minutes along an old logging road to a mountain meadow concert, which this time is stationary. The featured pieces for the evening are David Lang’s “in nature,” which was commissioned by The Crossing and WMPAC last summer and will now be performed actually in nature—a new choral arrangement of the iconic “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet,” by Gavin Bryars; and Ayanna Woods’ “shift.”

“The New York Times called The Crossing ‘America’s most astonishing choir’ a few years back, and that was before they saw them amplified in a Montana meadow,” said Zirkle. “Astonishing is just the beginning.”

Tickets to both experiences are sold by vehicle. The cost is $50 per car, but there is no limit on the number of audience members within each car. Both performances will require light hiking on wooded paths.

Reservations can be made for each experience online at warrenmillerpac.org. The ongoing vision of the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center is to create in the summer, present in the winter, and inspire year-round.

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