Acadia Choral Society will hold its spring 2018 concerts at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church in Bar Harbor; and at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 13, at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Ellsworth. The theme of the program is “Heaven On Earth,” and it includes works from Renaissance to contemporary that evoke that heavenly feeling.
The chorus is happy to welcome its third guest director, Sing Rose, an outstanding professional vocalist who selected the program and has shared her knowledge of choral singing with grace and enthusiasm. Kimberly Haller, Accompanist and Assistant Director, will add her skill and artistry to the performances, along with Noel Chelberg on string bass and soprano soloists Cassie Belka and Annie Leonardi-Merchant.
The program opens with O vos omnes, a Rennaissance work with unique and surprising harmonic changes and beautiful lines. It is followed by Arcadelt’s sweet and lovely Il bianco e dolce cigno and Samuel Barber’s Sure On This Shining Night, the most famous of the composer’s art songs. In Windsor Forest by R. Vaughan Williams provides earthy balance with singing of conspiracy, beer and fairies! The program also includes Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, a setting of psalm 117 for soprano solo and chorus that offers another moment of heavenly beauty.
Jesu, Meine Freude, the program’s featured work, is perhaps Bach’s most striking and unique motet. It is the longest and most complex of the motets, and every movement is beautiful, accessible and heartfelt. Gawthrop’s Sing Me to Heaven has been touching the heart strings of audiences since it was composed in 1991. It has sold nearly 10,000 copies each year since then, and it has been recorded hundreds of times. You will learn why as soon as you hear it.
As a special feature, the chorus is privileged to present the premier performance of a contemporary piece, Happiness, composed by Sing Rose’s pianist/composer husband, John Alan Rose. This new work is filled with distinctive and spiritual colors and reminds the listener that happiness need not be sought after externally, but that it dwells within each of us.
Tickets for the May concerts are available for a suggested donation of $15 at Sherman’s Books & Stationery and Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars, both in Bar Harbor; the Southwest Harbor Public Library; and the SevenArts gallery in Ellsworth. Tickets are also available from chorus members. For additional information visit www.acadiachoralsociety.org.
Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars is corporate sponsor of the Acadia Choral Society.