photography Kevin Vondrak

the crossing

The Crossing is a professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its over seventy commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.


Highly sought-after for collaborative projects, The Crossing’s first such partnership was as the resident choir of the Spoleto Festival in Italy, in 2007. Since then, collaborators include the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Beth Morrison Projects, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Mostly Mozart Festival, National Gallery of Art, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum, Institute for Advanced Study, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, and Northwestern University. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana.


With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 15 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and three Grammy nominations in as many years. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, is the American Composers Forum’s 2017 Champion of New Music. They are the recipients of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, and the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America.


"Such is their radiant sound and the vibrancy of the repertory they’ve cultivated, it’s gotten to the point I’d hear anything this Philadelphia vocal ensemble sings." — New York Times (January, 2019)


“[A] gift for lending social activism poetic form” — New York Times (September, 2018)


“Against all odds, a choir focused on new music prospers” – Chicago Tribune (March, 2018)


“…unerring performers, the superb Philadelphia choir The Crossing, directed by Donald Nally”  – New Yorker (September, 2017)


 “ardently angelic” – Los Angeles Times (April, 2014)


“something of a miracle” – Philadelphia Inquirer (July, 2014)

Donald Nally

Donald Nally conducts The Crossing, the internationally acclaimed professional choir commissioning, premiering, and recording only new music. He holds the John W. Beattie Chair of Music at Northwestern University where he is professor and director of choral organizations. Nally has served as chorus master at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. With The Crossing, Nally has commissioned nearly 80 works and produced 15 recordings, with three Grammy nominations; he has won two Grammys for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019). He was the American Composers Forum 2017 Champion of New Music and received the 2017 Michael Korn Founders Award from Chorus America. He is the only conductor to have two ensembles receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music. In addition to his work with The Crossing, Nally has recently been visiting resident artist at the Park Avenue Armory, music director of David Lang's 1,000-voice Mile Long Opera on the High Line in Manhattan, and chorus master for the New York Philharmonic’s world premieres of works Julia Wolfe and David Lang. He has worked closely with Lang and Allora & Calzadilla on projects in Osaka, London, Edmonton, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. photo: Becky Oehlers Photography

Kile Smith

Composer Kile Smith has gained national and international acclaim, with commissions from Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Piffaro, Helena Symphony, Lyric Fest, The Crossing, Westminster Choir College, Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, Choral Arts Philadelphia, Gaudete Brass, The Arcadian Trio, Red Shift, Khorikos, and Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, whose recording of their commission Canticle was released in 2018. His music has also been performed by, among many others, Conspirare, Seraphic Fire, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Delaware Symphony, Orchestra 2001, Network for New Music, and Gaudete Brass.


Smith’s music has been called “eerily beautiful” by Boston Classical Review, “like no other music” by the Miami Herald, and “ecstatically beautiful” by The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has been composer in residence for Lyric Fest, the Helena Symphony, the Jupiter Symphony, and the Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. Smith has received grants from the Philadelphia Music Project, Meet The Composer, the Argosy Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Independence Foundation, which is supporting the composition of his first opera, The Book of Job. Smith is a regular contributor to the arts and culture magazine Broad Street Review; he has hosted Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection since 2002.


The Arc in the Sky marks Kile’s sixth commission from The Crossing, who have recorded his Where Flames a Word and Vespers. photo: A. J. Waltz

CONNECT with the crossing



Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.

223 Lafayette Road

North Hampton NH 03862



press (at)

603.758.1718 x 151