June 14, 2020
Dear Concord Chorus Friends,
I hope you are all safe and healthy. While the coronavirus continues to disrupt our daily lives, longstanding issues of racism and inequality have come to a head through heartbreaking events across our communities.
I want to take this opportunity to give you an update of what the Chorus has been up to. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we suspended the remainder of the 2020 Spring Season. This meant canceling our in-person rehearsals, fundraisers, and spring concert at the Church of St. Brigid in Lexington. We were so much looking forward to performing John Rutter’s Gloria and Morten Lauridsen’s Lux aeterna for you. Cancelling our spring fundraisers and concert was a difficult but correct decision to ensure the health and safety of our members and audience.
Next season is the Concord Chorus’s 75th anniversary season. We continue to assess the COVID-19 situation as Massachusetts begins to reopen. In consultation with our new Health Policy Committee, we will decide how to proceed with next season. In addition to health considerations, there are concerns about rehearsal and concert venue availability and the ability of audiences to attend live performances.
We will continue to assess the ever-changing situation thoughtfully, cautiously, and creatively, keeping us all together virtually until we can sing together again in person for you. We invite you to stay tuned to our latest news by visiting our website, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. If you would like to show support of the Chorus with a donation, please visit our Support Us page.
Nelson Rosas, Chair
Concord Chorus Executive Committee
From the Music Director
Dear Friends of the Concord Chorus,
We are all very much in need of the comfort that singing together brings. We’ve missed rehearsing with each other and performing for you, our Concord Chorus family!
If we had been able to sing our concert on May 30th, you would have heard beautiful music by American and English composers for chorus, brass, and organ. I’ve included internet links below to excellent recordings and translated texts so you can experience our concert virtually at your convenience.
The program begins with four nineteenth-century British a cappella works about loss. Charles Villiers Stanford’s Beati quorum via is a soothing Latin setting of the opening of Psalm 119. The picturesque My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land by Edward Elgar sets a romance by the Scottish poet Andrew Lang. The text for Robert Lucas Pearsall’s exquisite Lay a Garland on Her Hearse comes from Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher’s play The Maid’s Tragedy. Ralph Vaughan Williams’s expressive Rest is a setting of a poem by Christina Rossetti.
Next is Lux aeterna, by the contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen. It is a warm and inviting setting of various Latin texts selected by the composer that use light as a central image. The work’s five movements flow seamlessly from one to the next: (1) Introitus; (2) In te, Domine, speravi; (3) O nata lux; (4) Veni, Sancte Spiritus; and (5) Agnus Dei–Lux Aeterna.
The concert concludes with John Rutter’s brilliant 1974 setting of the Gloria from the Latin mass. Its three movements form a fast–slow–fast arch: a powerful Allegro vivace, a pensive Andante, and a playful Vivace e ritmico.
We would have had an absolute blast singing this music for you, and we are glad that we can at least share it with you here. In particular, I hope you have a listen to the Lauridsen, which is providing me with some comfort in these uncertain times. It is a stunning composition which we hope to share with you in person when it becomes possible. We are so looking forward to that day!
Wishing you the very best until we meet again,
Kevin Leong, Music Director
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