Welcome to the forty-first season of the Louisiana Choral Foundation’s Masterworks Chorale. It is our pleasure to continue to produce innovative programming while providing choral enrichment and compelling performances for Southwest Louisiana. This season, entitled Songs of Life, will feature a variety of musical offerings occurring in several venues.
Our Fall Concert, Songs of Praise and Thanksgiving, will be presented in the sanctuary of University United Methodist Church of Lake Charles on October 13 at 7:30 p.m. and October 15 at 3:00 p.m. These concerts will include Four Songs in Praise of Music: “Sing a Mighty Song” by Daniel Gawthrop, “How Can I Keep From Singing” arranged by Taylor Davis, “Psalm 100” by René Clausen, and “The Awakening” by Joseph Martin. A major work and the focal point of the concert will be Dan Forrest’s Te Deum. This work will be accompanied by an instrumental chamber ensemble. In describing his setting of the text, Forrest states, “the Te Deum has been a staple part of liturgical forms in all traditions.”
The final selection will be Southwestern Suite by Texas composer Randoll Bass. It includes such familiar tunes as “Green Grow the Lilacs,” “Git Along Little Dogies,” “Shall We Gather at the River,” “Red River Valley,” “Bound for the Rio Grande,” and “Skip to My Lou.”
The annual Christmas Concert, Songs of Adoration and Joy, will be presented in two venues: Friday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Lake Charles, and Sunday, December 10 at 3:00 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church in Sulphur. Masterworks Chorale will perform Bob Chilcott’s rhythmic setting of the Gloria accompanied by a brass quintet and organ. Chilcott originally wrote this work for Choralis, a 100-person mixed choir in Washington D.C. and was modeled after the Vivaldi Gloria. Chilcott states, “I have always loved the rhythmic impulse of this piece, along with the freshness of its shapes and clarity of textures, which combine with music that is both tender and deeply expressive.” Also, Masterworks will perform several traditional carol settings arranged by Julian Wachner, composer/organist at Trinity Church at Wall Street in New York . The carols will be performed with brass ensemble and organ. Carols include, “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “The Snow Lay on the Ground,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” In addition to Masterworks Chorale, Les Petites Voix directed by Kari Proksch and the Bayou Bell Choir directed by Bruce Allured will each present seasonal selections. The concert will conclude with the traditional “O Holy Night.”
The Spring Concert, Songs of Hope and Peace, will be presented at First United Methodist Church in Lake Charles on May 4 at 7:30 p.m. and on May 6 at 3:00 p.m. This concert will feature Five American Folk-Hymns arranged by Mack Wilberg, Beatitudes by Patrick Hawes and The Musical World of Walt Disney arranged by Mac Huff. The Folk-Hymns will include, “Amazing Grace,” “Down to the River to Pray,” “His Voice as the Sound,” “My God, My Portion, and My Love,” and “My Song in the Night.” Beatitudes is based on the eight verses of St. Matthew’s Gospel and is written by English composer Patrick Hawes. Hawes currently writes for the King’s Singers and is working on his biggest project to date, The Great War Symphony—to be premiered in Royal Albert Hall in 2018. The Disney Medley will contain selections from Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, It’s a Small World, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Aladdin, Newsies, Tarzan, and Song of the South.