My, how the summer has flown by!
I hope you are all feeling rested and refreshed, as I am, and looking forward to another great season of music-making! I know I can’t wait to see you all again (and welcome some new members into the fold as well!) It was so wonderful to see so many of you this summer at Shauna’s for the get-together, and at the choral workshop at PCA. It certainly reminded me of what a fun, talented, wonderful group of people you are, and whetted my appetite for seeing you on a weekly basis again soon.
As my own musical preparations are now in full tilt, I am particularly excited about our two main concert presentations this season. Our fall concerts in November will offer a tribute to veterans of the armed forces, just a week after Veterans Day. This program will include patriotic numbers, battle anthems from the Revolutionary and Civil War eras, remembrances of the fallen, and songs and prayers for peace. As always, there will be readings and commentary to provide context and stitch it all together. I know this will be a meaningful and moving celebration in honor of all our brothers and sisters who have given so generously of themselves to stand up for and defend our way of life. I expect there will also be a wide range of opportunities to showcase many solo voices and small ensembles on this program as well.
In the spring we will shift gears, and sink our teeth into Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana – a true masterwork of twentieth-century choral music, drawing its texts from Latin and German medieval poetry. The music is whimsical, dramatic, playful, powerful, humorous, and at times downright bawdy (don’t say I didn’t warn you!) We will join forces with professional soloists and a battery of percussion to create a colorful tapestry of sound and rhythm our audience will not soon forget. This is a substantial, demanding undertaking that will stretch us in some new directions, but I feel confident we are up for the challenge.
The Chamber Singers, reborn as of last year, will play a part in each of these programs as well, in addition to participating in some outreach performances in the community. Open auditions for this year’s group will be held on Sept. 18, the second week of rehearsal, from 3-4pm. Audition music and instructions will be distributed in our first rehearsal. I strongly encourage all interested singers, looking for a higher level of challenge in a more intimate setting, to offer your candidacy. As always, the auditions will be as fun, painless, and stress-free as possible.
This summer, your Board has been hard at work behind the scenes, revving up the engine, tightening the screws, and keeping all the various moving parts purring smoothly along. The most exciting news is the appointment of Philip Pampreen as our new accompanist. Philip is a formidable talent and a hard-working, dedicated artist, who both delighted and impressed us from our very first meeting. I know he will be an incredible asset to us this year, and I am greatly looking forward to collaborating with him on these exciting projects.
I look forward to seeing you all at 4:00pm on September 11, and once again sharing in the incredible and unique gifts of music, spirit, personhood, and energy each of you brings to this group. What you do is so important, so beneficial – for yourselves, for each other, for the community, and for the world. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it!
With Love, Respect, and Gratitude,