Westminster Choir College’s Schola Cantorum to Perform in Easton

On Sunday, March 17 at 6 pm, the 65-voice Schola Cantorum of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey will perform a concert at Christ Church.  The choir will perform a concert of music spanning several centuries.  Included in the program are works by Victoria, Fauré, Brahms and others.  There is no charge for the concert, but a freewill offering will be received.  Doors will open at 5:20 pm, and early arrival is recommended for best seating.

Under the direction of renowned choral conductor and author James Jordan, Schola Cantorum is one of three curricular choirs at Westminster Choir College.  Composed of all students in their second year of study at the college, this ensemble forms a vital link between the technique and artistry gained by students in their first-year experience at the college in the Westminster Chapel Choir and Westminster Symphonic Choir, which performs with many of the world’s finest orchestras and is a cornerstone of the Westminster experience.  The second year of ensemble performance study focuses on refinement of ensemble skills combined with choral literature appropriate to both the musical growth and artistic understanding of the singers in the ensemble.

Westminster Choir College is the only college in the world that focuses its program around a student’s choral experiences.  Unique to this experience is students singing with their class for two years to not only build their artistry but to strengthen their sense of community and what it is to sing together.  This vision was the core value of the institution’s founder, John Finley Williamson.  Westminster Schola Cantorum is also the only curricular choir that annually tours in the spring.  All students in this ensemble study with Westminster’s acclaimed voice faculty, the largest voice faculty in the world.  In their second year of study, students may audition for Westminster’s small ensembles: Westminster Choir, Westminster Williamson Voices, Westminster Kantorei, Westminster Jubilee Singers and Westminster Concert Handbell Choir.  Many of the singers in Schola Cantorum are also members of those ensembles.

The ensemble’s 2018-2019 season includes a concert tour to Maryland and Washington, D.C., participation in Westminster’s annual An Evening of Readings and Carols concert, which is broadcast on WWFM, The Classical Network and concerts on the Westminster campus.  Its 2017-2018 season included a collaboration with Westminster Chapel Choir, performing Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes at the War Memorial in Trenton as part of Westminster’s Transforming Space project, as well as a joint concert at Lincoln Center.

For more information about this or other musical offerings at Christ Church, visit www.christchurcheaston.org or call 410-822-2677.  This concert is sponsored in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.

District Eight to Perform at Christ Church Easton March 10

On Sunday, March 10 at 4 pm the Christ Church Concert Series will present the Washington DC based a cappella ensemble, The District Eight.  The group, known for its creative programming and its superb blend, has appeared on the series previously with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response. This will be the group’s third performance in Easton.

The District Eight has been acclaimed by The Washington Post for its “fine singers who blend and balance” and its “consistently beautiful performances.” The District Eight brings a lucid and colorful sound to a wide and fascinating repertoire, ranging from renaissance polyphony and English church anthems to modern American compositions and contemporary spirituals. Their sensitive and evocative interpretations of choral music have captivated audiences since 2010, “because of their exotic inscrutability...”

The District Eight has appeared at the Washington Early Music Festival, with the Norfolk Chamber Consort, The College of William and Mary, and the University of Tampa; as well as at St. James Methodist Church, Greenville, NC, St. John’s Cathedral in Jacksonville, Christ Church in Bradenton, Sarasota, FL, and St. Mary Mother of God in Washington, DC. In 2010 the ensemble joined forces with The Orchestra of the Seventeenth Century to present the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610.

Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  Doors open on March 10 at 3:30 pm, and the concert is open to the public.  There is no admission charge, but a freewill offering will be received. This concert is supported in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  For more information call 410-822-2677.

Duke University Organist to Perform at Christ Church Easton

On Friday, January 18 at 7:30 pm, the Christ Church Concert Series will present Duke University organist Christopher Jacobson in what will be his Easton debut.  The accomplished organist was previously the Associate Organist and Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, South Carolina where he assisted in directing and training the cathedral choirs and played for weekly Eucharist and Evensong liturgies. Mr. Jacobson also served on the faculty as instructor of organ at the University of South Carolina’s School of Music. Prior to his appointment at Trinity Cathedral he was Assistant Organist and Assistant Director of Music at Washington National Cathedral. As a soloist Mr. Jacobson has presented organ recitals across North America, Europe, and Australia. He has won prizes in numerous organ competitions including the National Young Artist Competition (NYACOP), the Miami International Organ Competition, and first prize in the American Guild of Organists/Quimby Region VI Competition for Young Organists and the John R. Rodland Competition in church music. As an accompanist he has accompanied choirs in residencies and tours to Saint Thomas Church, New York City, Wells Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, Durham Cathedral in England, the American Cathedral in Paris, and the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Italy. He has also served as accompanist for many Royal School of Church Music summer courses across the country. An active continuo artist, Mr. Jacobson appears regularly with the early music ensemble, Three Notch’d Road and the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra. Mr. Jacobson holds the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and the Sacred Music Diploma from the Eastman School of Music as well as the Associate diploma from the American Guild of Organists. At Eastman he studied organ with David Higgs, and improvisation and continuo with William Porter. Mr. Jacobson received the Bachelor of Music degree with distinction in Organ Performance from St. Olaf College where he studied with John Ferguson and Catherine Rodland. He is a graduate of Woodberry Forest where he began his organ study with French organist Yvaine Duisit, and the American Boychoir School as a treble chorister under James Litton.

Friday’s concert will present a feast for all organ and sacred music lovers.  Featuring the Bach Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532, Rhapsody, Opus 17 by Herbert Howells as well as works by Marcel Dupré, William Bolcom, George Shearing, and Louis Vierne, the concert promises to be a highlight of the weekend!  Coupled with the vibrant acoustic of Easton’s Christ Church and the many facets of the four-manual Rodgers Infinity, this is a concert you won’t want to miss.  The concert is open to the public and is sponsored in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  Doors open at 7 pm.

Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  For information, call 410-822-2677.

Fauré Requiem to be Performed at Christ Church Easton

The Parish Choir and friends of Christ Church Easton will present a special concert for All Saints Day on Thursday, November 1 at 7 pm.  This day also known as All Hallow’s Day, the Feast of All Saints, and Solemnity of All Saints, is a Christian Festival honoring all Saints, known and unknown.  In Western Christianity it is celebrated annually on the first day of November.

The Concert for All Saints Day that will be taking place at Christ Church will feature the revered masterwork composed by French composer Gabriel Fauré between 1887 and 1890.  It is the most familiar of all of the composer’s larger works premiering in its original form in 1888 at the Church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Paris.  The seven movement work which focuses on eternal rest and consolation includes choir with soprano and baritone solos.  Soloists for the performance will include soprano Laurie Alltop, with baritone solos performed by Patrick Mason and Randall Bachand.  Accompanying the choir will be Dale Krider at the organ and harpist Rebecca Anstine Smith of the National Philharmonic Orchestra with Wes Lockfaw conducting.

Also included in the concert will be works from several other well known composers including “Pie Jesu” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “O How Amiable” by Ralph Vaughn Williams, and “Happy and Blest are They” taken from Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio St. Paul.

There is no admission charge for this performance though a freewill offering will be received.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.  This performance is presented by the Christ Church Concert Series which is supported in part by the Talbot County Arts Council with funds provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  For more information call 410-822-2677 or visit ChristChurchEaston.org

Jeremy Filsell to Perform at Christ Church Easton

The Christ Church Concert Series continues on Sunday, October 14 at 4 pm with world-class organist and Resident Artist of the Washington National Cathedral Jeremy Filsell.  The program will feature compositions by twentieth century French composer, Gaston Litaize along with J. S. Bach and an American triptych featuring the work of Calvin Hampton, Gerre Hancock, and Stephen Paulus.

Filsell, a guest speaker of the Mid-Shore Maryland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists early this year, is one of only a few virtuoso performers as both pianist and organist. He has appeared as a solo pianist in Russia, Scandinavia, New Zealand and throughout the USA and UK. His concerto repertoire encompasses Bach, Mozart and Beethoven through to Shostakovich, John Ireland, and Rachmaninov. He has recorded the solo piano music of Herbert Howells, Bernard Stevens, Eugene Goossens and Johann Eschmann and recently released were discs of Rachmaninov’s piano music and two of French Mélodies accompanying baritone, Michael Bundy.

Mr. Filsell is on the international roster of Steinway Piano Artists and has recorded for BBC Radio 3, USA, and Scandinavian radio networks in solo and concerto roles. His discography comprises more than 30 solo recordings. Gramophone magazine commented on the series of twelve compact discs comprising the premiere recordings of Marcel Dupré’s complete organ works for Guild in 2000 that it was ’one of the greatest achievements in organ recording’.  In 2005, Signum released a three-disc set of the six organ symphonies of Louis Vierne, recorded on the 1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ in St. Ouen, Rouen. He has taught at universities, summer schools, and conventions in both the UK and USA and has served on international competition juries in England and Switzerland. Recent solo engagements have taken him across the USA and UK and to Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Australia and New Zealand. In North America, he concertizes under the auspices of Philip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.

As a student of Nicolas Kynaston and Daniel Roth, Jeremy Filsell studied as an Organ Scholar at Keble College, Oxford before completing graduate studies in piano with David Parkhouse and Hilary McNamara at the Royal College of Music. He was awarded a PhD in Musicology at Birmingham Conservatoire/BCU for research involving aesthetic and interpretative issues in the music of Marcel Dupré. Before moving to the USA in 2008, he held academic and performance lectureships at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and was a lay clerk in the Queen’s choir at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. He currently combines an international recital and teaching career with being director of music at the Church of St. Alban’s in Washington DC, Artist-in-residence at Washington National Cathedral, and Professor of Organ at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

The Christ Church Concert Series is sponsored in part by the Talbot County Arts Council with funds provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.  As with all of the Christ Church Concert Series performances, the October 14 concert is open to the public.  There is no admission charge, but a freewill offering will be received.  Doors open at 3:30 pm.  For more information, contact 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

Os Guinness to Speak at Christ Church on October 3

Don’t miss a chance to hear acclaimed author and social critic Os Guinness at Christ Church Easton. His talk is entitled “How Faithful Citizenship and Responsible Freedom can Restore the Public Good,” is free and open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, October 3 at 7pm in the church.

Dr. Guinness will speak about what he calls “the paradox of American Liberty” and how religious faith can create a culture of sustained and responsible freedom, drawing from themes in his new book The Last Call for Liberty: How America’s Genius for Freedom has Become Its Greatest Threat.  In times of rising polarization and increasing political incivility, his talk will chart a way forward informed by the deepest truths of the Christian faith.

Guinness is the great-great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, and was born in China in World War Two where his parents were medical missionaries. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his doctor of philosophy in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford. Os has written or edited more than thirty books, including The Call, Time for Truth, Unspeakable, A Free People’s Suicide, and The Global Public Square. His latest book, Last Call for Liberty: How America’s Genius for Freedom Has Become Its Greatest Threat, was published in 2018.

Since moving to the United States in 1984, Os has been a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies, a guest scholar and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Senior Fellow at the Trinity Forum and the EastWest Institute in New York. Os has spoken at many of the world’s major universities, and spoken widely to political and business conferences across the world.

Copies of his book will be available at the event free of charge.

The talk is co-presented by Washington College’s Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture.  The event will also be the occasion for the announcement of a new annual $5,000 award provided by the Institute to an individual or organization in the Delmarva region whose work manifests the power of religious faith and public spiritedness to advance the public good.

The Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture was founded and is directed by Professor Joseph Prud’homme. The Institute explores the historic and continuing contributions of religion to political and cultural life, in the United State and around the world, and the moral, political and cultural principles supporting a free society and responsible self-government.

Christ Church Concert Series to Kick Off New Season

The Christ Church Concert Series will open its 2018-19 concert season this Sunday, September 23, at 4 pm.  With a host of artists ranging from chamber ensembles and choral masterworks to concert organists, handbells, and other features, this year’s series has something for everyone!

To open the season, Christ Church welcomes a unique duo and two superb, world-class musicians known as Duo Transatlantique. Fresh from critically acclaimed concerts in southern France in 2016 and the United States in 2017, harpists Isabelle Frouvelle and Rebecca Anstine Smith have delighted audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Harpist Rebecca Anstine Smith enjoys combining her passion for the French language with her musical performances, which began at Dickinson College, where she received a double degree in French and music, magna cum laude, Departmental Honors in Music.   More recently, she traveled to southern France where she performed harp duo recitals with renowned French harpist, Isabelle Frouvelle, as The Duo Transatlantique.  In her capacity as guest artist faculty for The Greenspring International Summer Harp Institute, she has accompanied them to Canada, England, Wales and the Coast of New England.  As an orchestral musician, Smith has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, and performs often with The National Philharmonic, The Washington Ballet Orchestra and The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. She recorded a CD of Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols at the Washington National Cathedral with Canon Michael McCarthy.

Now also a resident of the United States, French harpist Isabelle Frouvelle, has performed several times as soloist with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of David Grandis, and in recital with organist Sonya Subbayya Sutton with the Concerto in Bb by Handel.  In demand as an adjudicator and clinician, Ms. Frouvelle’s most recent travels include competitions and seminars in Mexico, Atlanta, Richmond, Virginia and Philadelphia.  Prior to coming to the United States, Ms. Frouvelle performed with numerous major orchestras in France including Orchestre Colonne, Opéra en Plein Air, and Orchestre du Capitole.  She has also played at many prestigious venues across Paris including Château de Versailles, Sainte Chapelle,  Hôtel des Invalides, Sacré Chœur de Montmartre, Musée de Louvre, as well as events in Les Bateaux Mouches, Le Ritz place Vendôme, and at private venues.  Additionally, she performed for a number of years weekly concerts at the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée in Paris. She is recognized among harpists in Europe and USA, especially as an author of innovative harp instruction methods, publications of solo harp compositions for young harpists as well as a series of duets for harp and other instruments.

After a chance meeting of the harpists, Smith and Frouvelle, an almost immediate bond developed from their mutual admiration and appreciation for their respective cultures, languages, and music.  Their program at Christ Church this Sunday will celebrate their French-American friendship with 20th century works by both American and French composers: Debussy, Faure, Gershwin, and Joplin.  A refreshing and light sound of two harps performed by two artists and friends.

The Christ Church Concert Series is supported in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.  Doors open on Sunday at 3:30 pm, and the public is invited.  There is no admission charge for the concert, but a freewill offering will be received.  For more information, call 410-822-2677.

Christ Church Presents “Tea with Mozart”

On Sunday, July 29 at 3 pm, the Music Ministry of Christ Church Easton will present a concert featuring music by celebrated composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart under the direction of music director, Wes Lockfaw.  The public is invited to attend.  The repertoire will feature Vesperae Solennes de Confessore (Solemn Vespers for a Confessor), K. 339 and “Gloria” from the Twelfth Mass.  The choir will be comprised of Christ Church Choir members and friends.  Soloists include Georgiann Gibson (soprano), Katherine Nevius (alto), Robert Branning (tenor), Patrick Mason (tenor), and Randy Bachand (bass).  Several instrumental works featuring strings, flute, and organ will also be performed.

Solemn Vespers, K. 339 was composed in 1780 and would have been intended for the special celebration of a saint who, in this instance, remained unnamed.  Its six movements would have been interspersed with readings and other acts appropriate for a sacred and festive occasion.  While the masterpiece was found to be a restrictive exercise by Mozart due to the nature of his employment with the Bishop of Salzburg, it endures as a monumental part of his journey toward the more secular genres for which he became known.  While the work can largely be characterized as bright and brilliant, its fifth movement, “Laudate Dominum”, contains a lush, introspective quality whose beauty could easily have found its way into any of the composer’s operas.  This quintessential work was the last choral work written written by Mozart for the cathedral in Salzburg.

Following the concert, attendees are invited to a high tea in the parish hall along with the guest of honor!  While there is no charge for the event, a free will offering will be received.  For more information, call 410-822-2677.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.

Boychoir Camp to Take Place in Easton

This summer, a boychoir camp will be offered in Easton.  An outreach of Christ Church Easton, the camp will take place from 9 am until 2 pm beginning on Monday, July 9 and concluding on Friday, July 13.  The camp is open to boys in grades one through six.

Over the course of one week, boys enrolled in the camp will have the opportunity to learn a variety of choral pieces to be presented at a final concert on Friday, July 13 at 7 pm.  Recreation and other activities will be an integral part of the camp reinforcing the principles associated with boychoir tradition, the development of music-related skills, and the value of teamwork.  Wes Lockfaw, music director at Christ Church in Easton and Artistic Director for the Easton Choral Arts Society, will serve as the camp’s musical director.  Members of the Christ Church Boychoir staff will also serve as the camp staff.

The cost for this summer’s boychoir camp is $100 per chorister which will include an imprinted polo for the Friday night performance as well as all other materials.  Students will be asked to bring a brown bag lunch. For a full description brochure and registration form, please contact weslockfaw@christchurcheaston.org, or call 410-822-2677.  Space is limited, and enrollment is open to students throughout the mid-shore.  The deadline to enroll is Friday, June 8.

Christ Church Concert Series to Conclude Season This Sunday

Wes Lockfaw

The Christ Church Concert Series concludes its 2017-2018 season this Sunday afternoon with a program featuring music for brass and organ.  The concert will begin at 4 pm, and doors will open at 3:30 pm.

Performing on Sunday’s concert will be Christ Church music director Wes Lockfaw at the organ along with the Christ Church Brass Quintet featuring Carlos Zabala and Wendell Banyay (trumpets and flugelhorn), Alan White (French Horn), Lawrence Knier (trombone), and Daniel Walley (tuba).  Repertoire will include selections spanning four centuries and a diverse array of genres.  Among the selections are works by Handel, two of which are derived from the operas Rinaldo and Xerxes, Renaissance composers Monteverdi and Gabrielli, Richard Strauss, and Pavel Tchesnokoff.   The works of several current composers will also be performed including  Voluntary by Domecq Smith,  Trumpet Tune in G by Jeremy Bankson, and Cantabile No. 2 by Enrico Pasini.  The latter showcases Carlos Zabala on the flugelhorn noted for its lush, silky tone.  Also included in the repertoire is a Suite of Baroque Dances.  Each is rather short and delightful in their individual diversity.

Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  The Christ Church Series is supported in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  A free will offering will be received.  For more information, call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

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