Dear members and friends of Granite State Choral Society —
One of my favorite tasks is preparing for a new semester with a choral group and selecting music for the program. The process is a little bit like going down memory lane as I review all of the material I have done over my tenure as a music director. There are a number of standards in my repertoire that I am passionate about performing. I love spirituals especially those arranged by William Dawson, numerous Bach cantatas too numerous to count, music by one of my favorite composers Randol Alan Bass, various Broadway show tunes — the list goes on! This fall, however, is a bit different. I have always been enchanted by Antonín Dvořák’s Mass in D Major (op. 86) which is a beautiful and moving piece of work. It is a work that I have never conducted before and I have spent the summer listening and reading the score preparing for rehearsals. I am looking forward to experiencing a new work alongside the chorus as we prepare the mass together for our November concert. It is an exciting work with multiple movements lasting about 35 minutes.
In addition to the Mass in D Major we will fill out the program with several rhythmic “celebration” psalms set to music by contemporary composers and two pieces to transition the listeners and performers to the Advent season with the Welsh Poverty Carol in a choral setting and Christmas Pipes a staple in the Celtic Woman tradition.
Looking forward to the Spring semester I am excited to announce a program with a British folk song influence including several Robert Burns poems set to music by Robert Mulholland and a choral standard “Just As the Tide Was Flowing” by Ralph Vaughn Williams. A program with British music wouldn’t be the same without a visit from John Rutter and few other short pieces will fill out the program. Our chamber orchestra will join us for this concert as well.
I hope to see you all at registration on September 8 as we begin rehearsals for the November 23 & 24, 2013 concerts featuring the Dvorak Mass in D Major. I look forward to making music with you. Please consider joining us for the entire year!
Seth A. Hurd
Granite State Choral Society