John Rutter To Debut New Sacred Choral Anthology At Carnegie Hall On May 27
In what is becoming a Memorial Day tradition, composer and conductor John Rutter will lead a gala concert for MIdAmerica Productions in Carnegie Hall. The 2019 edition, on Monday, May 27 at 8 pm, will feature his first United States performances of selections from his newly published anthology, Sacred Choruses.
"Anthologising is one of life's sweet pleasures," declares Mr. Rutter, "rather like throwing a party for your favourite friends. Imagine that, by a miracle of scheduling, there they all are in one room at one time, and as you circulate among them, you remember exactly why you wanted to be their friend in the first place, you probably remember the circumstances of your first meeting, and you are delighted to find that they haven't changed a bit and you are still drawn to them. Also at the party are some new friends; you haven't known them for as long, but you sense that they will remain your friends for ever.
"An anthology is a gathering of your friends. In the case of the Sacred Choruses collection... the room is a 384-page book-you can't, of course, include everyone you would like to, but there's still space for lots of friends..."
Mr. Rutter has programmed the following "friends" for May 27:
- J.S. BACH: Praise Our God Who Reigns in Glory (from Ascension Oratorio)
- J.S. BACH: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (from Cantata No. 147)
- MENDELSSOHN: Daughters of Zion (from Christus)
- HAYDN: The Heavens Are Telling (from The Creation)
- BRAHMS: How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place (from A German Requiem)
- HANDEL: Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite (from Samson)
- SCHUBERT: Magnificat in C major
- HANDEL: Hallelujah (from Messiah)
Also on this part of the program will be one purely instrumental selection, Mozart's Epistle Sonata in C major, K.336d, plus arias for the four soloists who also will perform in the Schubert Magnificat:
- Soprano Teresa Castillo - Let the Bright Seraphim from Handel's Samson
- Mezzo-Soprano Sara Murphy - O Rest In the Lord from Mendelssohn's Elijah
- Tenor Aaron Blake - In Splendor Bright from Haydn's The Creation
- Bass Jeremy Galyon - The Trumpet Shall Sound from Handel's Messiah
"A party is private, an anthology public," concludes Mr. Rutter, "but as host/editor, your hope is that others will enjoy your friends as much as you do. As a composer, I suppose I look upon my compositions as my children, but my anthology choices are my friends, and friends are important too."
One of his "children" will be on the program as well - the Gloria - paired, as he often likes to do, with his own edition of Monteverdi's setting of the same text.
No fewer than 17 choruses from 10 states will participate in this Memorial Day gala performance. The choir for the Sacred Choruses debut will consist of more than 150 voices drawn from the following ensembles:
- Living Word Worship Choir, Wildwood, MO (Donna Baker, Director)
- River City Singers, Scappoose, OR (Alice Boyer, Director)
- All Saints' Episcopal School A Cappella Choir, Fort Worth, TX (Emily Davis, Director)
- Coker UMC Chancel Choir, San Antonio, TX (Mark A. Humphrey, Director)
- Shawnee High School Choirs, Shawnee, OK (Justin Lee, Director)
- Lakeland Chorale, Wanaque, NJ (James Weber, Director)
- Glenpool High School Warrior Singers, Glenpool, OK (Kristen Womack-Hayes, Director)
For the two Glorias, the massed choir of 175 will consist of members of the following ensembles:
- Brookdale Concordia Chorale, Belford, NJ (Cynthia & John Balme, Co-Directors)
- Sanctuary Choir of Flower Mound United Methodist Church, Flower Mound, TX (Jan Call, Director)
- Grace Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir, Plano, TX (Michael King, Director)
- Epworth United Methodist Church Choir, Durham, NC (David Lewis, Director)
- St. Norbert College Choirs, De Pere, WI (Sarah Sjolie Parks, Director)
- Chancel Choir of St. Matthews By-the-Sea, Fenwick Island, DE (Glenn Pierce, Director)
- University Park UMC Chancel Choir, Dallas, TX (Mark Pope, Director)
- The Southern Union Sound, Wadley, AL (William W. Rayfield III, Director)
- Como Park Senior High School Choir, St. Paul, MN (Carole Whitney, Director)
- Continuo Arts Symphonic Chorus, Summit NJ (Candace Wicke, Director) 2018*
The New England Symphonic Ensemble will perform on both parts of the concert.
Concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage are $150, $100, and $50. Tickets may be obtained by contacting CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, visiting the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue in New York, NY, or by going online to www.carnegiehall.org).