Alice: At Home with Alice Parker, is a unique portrayal of a pioneering female composer-conductor, in which Montes-Bradley refines his minimalistic approach to the subject before the lens. This dialogue takes place over a long winter in Hawley, the secluded village in the Western mountains of Massachusetts where the legendary teacher is about to turn ninety-five years old. In that intimate space, Alice reminisces in a rich past of musical experiences, evoking those who she met along the way and sharing in detail the creative process of many of her most celebrated works. The result is a delightful cinematographic experience, one in which the audience is transported to a no so distant past when music played an extraordinary role in family life. Alice: At Home with Alice Parker is a celebration of music and life at the service of the greater good.
Alice Parker (b. 1925) is a distinguished composer, conductor, and teacher of choral music. In a career that spans some seventy years, Alice found early prominence as protégé of conductor Robert Shaw, with whom she collaborated as researcher and arranger of folk songs, hymns and spirituals for the Robert Shaw Chorale. Alice’s compositional reach is extensive and inclusive, from children’s songs and church hymns to operas and large concert works. In “Alice: At Home with Alice Parker”, the composer collaborates with Eduardo Montes-Bradley in an intimate portrayal of her life that illuminates her artistic achievements and her extraordinary kindness and passion for life. Renowned within the choral music community, Alice Parker stands tall as a modern pioneer in expanding the audience for choral music in all its “high” and “low” forms. This achievement was especially significant in a time before the now-ubiquitous recording and distribution technologies. Among her contemporaries, Alice Parker is distinctive for her convictions about the fundamental value of singing for every individual and of the capacity of choral singing to create social bonds that touch on the spiritual and afford intimations of the divine.