The Saint Martin's University Chorale will perform two free public programs of sacred music, poetry and readings Saturday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 20. The annual performances, which celebrate All Saints' Day and the feast of St. Martin of Tours, the University's patron saint, will take place at Saint Martin's Abbey Church, 5000 Abbey Way S.E. The Saturday performance begins at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday performance starts at 2:30 p.m. Doors open 15 minutes earlier. No reservations are necessary.
Members of the University's 75-member mixed chorus will lift their voices in collaboration with Campus Ministry. Musical selections will be interspersed with biblical readings and inspirational selections given by representatives of Campus Ministry.
The programs this year were planned in observance of the 100th birthday anniversary (Nov. 22, 1913) of Edward Benjamin Britten, an English composer, conductor and pianist who was considered a central figure of 20th-century British classical music. His works range from orchestral to choral, solo vocal, chamber, instrumental and film music.
The chorale will sing "Rejoice in the Lamb," one of Britten's most celebrated and performed works. It is a cantata Britten composed in 1943 as a commissioned piece for the 50th anniversary of St. Matthew's Church, Northampton. It is based on the poem "Jubilate Agno" by Christopher Smart (1722-1771), according to Chorale Director Darrell Born, associate professor of music at Saint Martin's.
Smart wrote the poem while he was detained in an asylum by his father-in-law, apparently for religious mania. He later died in a debtor's prison. The work is structured with solo and choral movements.
"There are manic and beautiful hallelujah moments in this piece, and I know this will sound really gorgeous and spectacular when paired with the acoustics of the Abbey Church," Born says. "I wanted to expose music students and the listening audience to Britten's marvelous music, and "Rejoice in the Lamb" is really representative of Britten's composition style."
The concert will also include excerpts from George Frideric Handel's "Messiah."
October 14, 2013