Donald Nally, director of choral organizations at the Bienen School of Music, has won his third Grammy Award to date for best choral performance with The Crossing for the album Born. Among Northwestern’s other 2023 Grammy nominees, School of Communication alumnus Brian d'Arcy James ’90 won his first Grammy for best musical theater album for Into the Woods.
Nally (photo, left) and The Crossing previously won Grammy Awards in 2018 for The Fifth Century and in 2019 for Zealot Canticles. They have received a total of eight Grammy nominations in the best choral performance category over seven consecutive years.
Born features the music of Michael Gilbertson and Edie Hill. Alumni performers on the album included Micah Dingler ’09 MMus, Dimitri German ’16 MMus, Michael Jones ’14 MMus, Lauren Kelly ’19 MMus, Chelsea Lyons ’17 MMus, James Reese ’15, Tiana Sorenson ’19 MMus, and Elisa Sutherland ’12, ’14 MMus. Kevin Vondrak ’17 MMus served as assistant conductor and co-producer.
James (photo, right) won the Grammy Award for best musical theater album for the 2022 Broadway cast recording of Into the Woods, on which he is a principal vocalist with Sara Bareilles, Patina Miller, and Phillipa Soo. He received a nomination in the same category for Something Rotten! in 2016.
Several other Bienen School alumni and faculty were represented among this year’s Grammy nominees.
Third Coast Percussion—Sean Connors ’06 MMus; Robert Dillon ‘02; Peter Martin ’04 MMus, ’11 DMus; and David Skidmore ’05—received a nomination for their album Perspectives in the category of best chamber music/small ensemble performance. That album was also nominated for best engineered album, classical. Third Coast previously won a Grammy in 2017 for Steve Reich and received nominations for Archetypes (2022), Fields (2021), and Perpetulum (2020).
Dover Quartet, Bienen School Quartet-in-Residence since 2015, received a nomination for best chamber music/small ensemble performance for Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Volume 2 – The Middle Quartets. The quartet also performed with Ian Rosenbaum on Andy Akiho's Ligneous Suite, nominated for best contemporary classical composition. Dover was previously nominated for best chamber music/small ensemble performance in 2021 for The Schumann Quartets. Current quartet members include Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violin; Hezekiah Leung, viola; and Camden Shaw, cello.
Top photo: The Crossing