Piedmont Singers to present four 'Great Composers'
The Piedmont College Singers will present works by Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein, Eriks Esenvalds, and Ralph Vaughn Williams in a concert at the college March 16.
Part of the continuing "Great Composers Series," the concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, in the Piedmont Chapel in Demorest. Admission is $10 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors, and free to all Piedmont students, faculty and staff.
Conducted by Dr. Wallace Hinson, chair of the Department of Music, the performance includes the 53-voice Piedmont Singers with accompanist Louise Bass on the Sewell Organ. The performance also will feature harpist Monica Hargrave and percussionist Taylor Sexton.
The concert will include Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms," which was commissioned in 1965 for the Three Choirs Festival, held at Chichester Cathedral since 1700. Composed for chorus, boy alto, organ, harp, and percussion, each movement of the work includes an entire Psalm, with excerpts from another Psalm as commentary or contrast.
"Rejoice in the Lamb" by Benjamin Britten is a multi-section work written for chorus, soloists, and organ based on the poem "Jubilate Agno," written by Christopher Smart about 1759, during the time Smart was confined for insanity at St. Luke Hospital in London. The poem was not published until 1939 and features Smart's ode to "My Cat Jeoffry."
Esenvald's "Long Road" is the English translation of a poem written by Paulina Barda for her husband, the Latvian poet Fricis Barda.
The final selection, "Five Mystical Songs," composed for chorus, baritone solo, and organ, is a setting of poems by George Herbert from his 1633 collection, "The Temple: Sacred Poems." The work was first performed in 1911 with Vaughn Williams conducting.
The concert will feature numerous soloists, including 11-year-old Matthew Blouin Davidorf of Atlanta, who has performed with the Atlanta Opera. Matthew is the son of Piedmont graduate Beverly Blouin (BA Music '97). Piedmont student soloists will include Lily Landeros, Mitchell Auger, Brett Bellamy, Chris Sudderth, John Wright, Vince Buchanan, Lindsey Brakhage, Kelly Hood, Ben Rikeman, Sky Ross, Jennifer Pitt, Allison Criswell, Brianna Foley, Rebekah Staton, and Nicholas Johnson.
Hinson said the selections for this year's concert were chosen to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the installation of the Sewell Organ and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten. The 3,691-pipe organ, built by Casavant Freres of Canada, will also be featured in a special concert at 4 p.m., April 14, with organist Isabella Demers.