Welcome to the 45th season of the Louisiana Choral Foundation’s Masterworks Chorale. It has been a difficult two years, but it is our pleasure to offer innovative and compelling programming once again for the musical enrichment of Southwest Louisiana. This season, entitled Light for All Seasons, will feature a variety of musical offerings.
Our Fall Concert will be presented in two venues. On Friday, October 14, the concert will be presented in the sanctuary of Christ Community Church on West Prien Lake Road at 7:00 p.m., and again on Sunday, October 16 in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral at 7:00 p.m. These concerts will feature selections with inspirational texts intended to promote peace and grounded strength for each of us. Each of these texts will provide “light” and “guidance” for us all to cling to in our darkest moments. The program will include “Jubilate Deo” by David Childs, “Ubi Caritas” and “The Ground” by Ola Gjeilo, “Prayer of the Children” by Bestor, and “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal” arranged by Alice Parker. The centerpiece of the concert will feature the Mass in G Major by Franz Schubert accompanied by a string quartet and piano. The program will conclude with a truly inspirational gospel arrangement of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” with text and music by Paul Simon, arranged by Kirby Shaw.
The annual Christmas Concerts will be performed in two venues as well. On Friday, December 9, the concert will be presented at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church at 7:00 p.m., and again on Sunday, December 11 at the Immaculate Conception Church on Maplewood Drive in Sulphur at 3:00 p.m. These concerts will feature the major work LUX: The Dawn From On High by Dan Forrest. This five-movement work will be accompanied by a chamber ensemble comprised of flute, oboe, horn, violin, cello, harp, piano, and percussion. Each movement deals with some aspect of “light,” from the light shining in the darkness - to the light being the people’s everlasting Light. Masterworks Chorale will also present Carols of the British Isles arranged by Mark Hayes. Some of the carols featured are “What Child Is This,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” “The Wexford Carol,” “Baloo, Lammy,” “The Snow Lay on the Ground,” and “Joy to the World.” 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” combining all groups together.
The Spring Concerts will be held at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on April 21 at 7:00 p.m. and on April 23 at 3:00 p.m. These concerts will feature a newly commissioned work Illuminare by Elaine Hagenberg. In her words, “the piece takes us through a season of beauty and goodness that has been disrupted by darkness and confusion. But as Light gradually returns, hope is restored, illuminating our future and guiding us in peace.” Masterworks will continue with “Five Hebrew Love Songs” by Eric Whitacre. These songs were originally written for solo soprano (Hila Plitmann who would later become Whitacre’s wife) and violin but were later adapted for SATB choir and string quartet. The Hebrew texts all center around moments shared by the couple. We will be performing them with solo violin and piano. We will close the concert with a set of songs from Gwyneth Walker’s Sing Evermore! Songs in Celebration of Singing. The songs include: “Refuge” (poem by Sarah Teasdale), “The Caged Bird Sings” (poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar), “Sky-Born Music” (poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson), and “Everyone Sang” (poem by Siegfried Sassoon). According to Walker, “the common thread of these four songs is in praising music for its power, its magic, its solace and its liberation.”
Hope to see you at the concerts,
Darryl Jones, Artistic Director/Conductor
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