JAMES BURRITT is an active member of the musical community of Buffalo, NY as performer, conductor and teacher. He has degrees in Vocal Performance from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and the University of Maryland at College Park. He currently teaches vocal music at Lewiston-Porter Central Schools in Youngstown, NY.
In 2002, Mr. Burritt founded the Vocális Chamber Choir, a select ensemble of dedicated professionals based in Buffalo, New York. Vocális is committed to performing great a cappella music of all eras, and to cultivating an awareness of the art of choral singing. The choir strives to inspire, educate and enlighten our audiences through an intimate and moving concert experience. Now in its 22nd season, Vocális has established itself as one of the finest choral ensembles in Western New York.
Each season the choir presents a series of subscription concerts in some of Buffalo’s most beautiful architectural and cultural landmarks, and actively seeks out unique collaborative opportunities with the thriving arts community of Western New York.
Vocális’ programming is wide-ranging, presenting choral masterpieces and a cappella gems from throughout the ages. In its history, the ensemble has performed with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Buffalo Chamber Players, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and at the Music Niagara Festival in Ontario, Canada. Vocalis actively seeks out collaborations with other arts organizations and has been proud to present programs in association with the Burchfield Penney Art Center, The Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Girlchoir, Buffalo String Works, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, and Greater Buffalo Friends of Music. The choir strives as well, to support new compositions, including recent commissions by composers Andrew Smith, Caroline Mallonée, Michael Slon, and Don Macdonald..
In the summer of 2014, Vocalis toured England, with engagements at Southwark Cathedral, Grosvenor Chapel, the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Ely Cathedral, and the Cambridge Summer Music Festival. Building on the success of its England tour, Vocalis hosted internationally renowned choral composer Ola Gjeilo in a concert of his music, reprising the concert at Merkin Hall in New York City.
The choir’s Choral Connections Series continues to create exciting musical events to draw our audiences closer to great choral artists. In June of 2016, the choir continued its diverse programming with performances of Cary Ratcliff’s Ode to Common Things, under the direction of the Grammy nominated composer. In 2018, the choir welcomed internationally acclaimed choral composer Bob Chilcott to Buffalo for a three-day educational residency and performed at the ACDA Eastern Region Convention in Pittsburgh, PA. Vocális’ 20th anniversary season celebrated the art of choral composition by connecting our audience with WNY choral composers Roland Martin, Caroline Mallonee, Michael Slon, and Carrie Magin. Season 21 continued this endeavor as we welcomed internationally renowned choral composer and conductor Jake Runestad to Buffalo.
We invite you to join us during our 22nd season in WNY. It will be an incredible season celebrating the vast choral traditions we have grown to love, while also celebrating under recognized composers, both past and present. We close our season with our Choral Connections Series, welcoming home one of America’s most dynamic young conductors, Malcolm Merriweather. A native of Grand Island, NY, Malcolm is director of the New York Philharmonic Chorus and New York City’s The Dessoff Choirs; serves on the faculty of Brooklyn College; and is Artistic Director of “Voices of Haiti,” a 60-member children’s choir in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, operated by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation.
We welcome you!
Vocális members are music educators, church musicians, and other talented professionals from Buffalo, and beyond who share a love for quality choral performance.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Formed in 2007 to provide administrative guidance, our active volunteer board is committed to furthering Vocális’ mission.
Caroline Mallonee, President
Paul Waara, Vice President
Vera Kozak, Secretary
Christopher Burritt, Treasurer
John F. Herbert
Barbara J. Hole
Mark R. McNamara, Esq.
Anne Altenburg Moot
Nancy Austin Stecker
Mary Keough Dylik