Eric Whitacre, who recently signed with Chester Music, will have several World Premieres of choral works in the United States this season. In March and June 2009, Distinguished Concerts International New York will host five-day residencies with Whitacre at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center. This will include the World Premiere of Animal Crackers, will take place in March. Also in March 2009, Philip Brunelle and VocalEssence will host the Eric Whitacre Extravaganza in Minneapolis, MN. Whitacre will conduct a community sing and direct a concert in which four choruses will combine to perform a World Premiere. Another Whitacre highlight during the 08-09 season will be the World Premiere of a new oratorio, performed by Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare in June 2009 in Austin, TX.