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.

Mid-Shore AGO to Sponsor Festival with Mid-Shore Musicians

On Sunday, May 6 at 4 pm, the Mid-Shore Maryland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will present a Festival of Hymns for Brass, Organ, Timpani, Handbells, and a choir of around sixty voices.  The event will take place at Christ Church in Easton located at 111 S. Harrison Street.

This year’s festival is the third such event hosted by the nearly four-year old chapter.  Each year, the event draws both musicians and attendees from throughout the Delmarva region, and this year’s festival will feature the largest combination of musicians to date.  The choir will be comprised of singers from as far away as Odessa , Delaware, and will include many from Talbot County.  A professional brass quintet and timpanist will also add festival flare to this popular annual event, along with the region’s premier community handbell ensemble, Bells of the Bay.  Featured music will include hymns favorite and new using various combinations of the gathered musical forces as well as a solo organ piece presented on one of shore’s largest instruments.

The Mid-Shore Maryland AGO sponsors a full lineup of events throughout the year to promote both Organ and Sacred Music.  Each year, the guild sponsors clinicians and musicians at both the national and local level  who  lead in workshops and various programs designed to assist and enhance music in churches throughout the area.  For the second year, the Mid-Shore AGO has also underwritten Pipedreams, a nationally syndicated program of organ music which can be heard on WSCL 89.5 FM radio each Sunday evening.

This Sunday’s hymn festival is free and open to the public.  Doors will open at 3:30 pm, and a freewill offering will be received to support this and other events sponsored by the Mid-Shore MD AGO.

Early Music Ensemble to Perform Irish Music

On Sunday, March 18 at 4 pm, the early music ensemble Trio Galilei will present a concert of music at Christ Church Easton.  Part of the Christ Church Concert Series, this accomplished trio is making its second appearance on the series.  Specializing in music of the British Isles, the group will perform a mostly Irish program in a nod to St. Patrick, a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland.

Trio Galilei began at the Mologne House at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Silver Spring where the ensemble performed every Friday that they were not out on tour since November of 2008. After six months of giving away Ensemble Galilei recordings at Mologne House, Carolyn Surrick, the group’s founder, decided that they needed to record the music that they were playing for the wounded warriors and their families. She called her friends in the industry and everyone agreed to donate their time—the recording engineer, to the studio, the mastering engineer, the photographer, the graphic artist, and the compact disc manufacturer.  That effort resulted in the creation of Above and Beyond, and since its release in 2009, four thousand compact discs have been given away to wounded warriors, their families, and the medical practitioners at Walter Reed. When the recordings are sold to the public, the money goes to manufacturing more CDs and then if there is money left over, the group donates it to The Special Operations Warrior Foundation. This year, at the urging of their audience at Walter Reed, Trio Galilei recorded a new CD, titled Home. Again, all of the aspects of the recording were donated by members of the recording industry, including Bias Studios in Springfield VA, Oasis Disc Manufacturing, local designer Marilyn Drea and photographer Burgess Blevins.

The group was also honored this year when they received the William Donald Schaefer People Helping Award for their ongoing work at the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. The ensemble can still be found every Friday afternoon, from 11:30 to 1:00, playing music for wounded warriors and their families at the Warrior Café. However, it would be easier to hear them while they are in town, and their Irish concert is one you won’t want to miss!

The Christ Church Concert Series is sponsored in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.  This Sunday’s concert is free and open to the public.  Christ Church is located at 111 South Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  A freewill offering will be received.

Christ Church Brass to Perform Music of the Renaissance

On Sunday, March 11 the Christ Church Brass will present an array of selections from composers including Pitoni, Palestrina, Molter, and Brahms as part of the 11 am morning worship service.  Prelude music will begin at 10:50 am.

Prelude music will begin with Cantate Domine, a gem composed by one of Italy’s leading composers of the late Baroque, Giuseppi Pitoni.  The piece, though commonly known as a choral motet, lends itself beautifully to four part instrumental writing, and the timbres of the brass maintain the brightness of composer’s original intent.   Another of Italy’s celebrated composers from the Renaissance period, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, will be featured next in the lineup.  This particular composer is, perhaps, the finest representative from the sixteenth-century Roman School of musical composition.  Palestrina, whose work had both significant and lasting influence upon sacred music, is regarded as quintessential in polyphony of the Renaissance.

Johannes Brahms who was unswayed by the principles of the “New German School” believed the old methods of composition could still communicate the essence of German Romanticism.  Illustrative of this sentiment is his Lass dich nur nichts nict dauren, op. 30 which will also be featured.  A masterfully crafted composition, it is an eloquent setting of a text by seventeenth-century author, Paul Flemming.  Of particular interest is the double canon between the first trumpet and trombone and the second trumpet and trombone.  Added to the serene mood of the piece is the light and transparent organ accompaniment throughout.

During the communion, the brass quartet will feature the work of the German Baroque composer and violinist, Johann Melchior Molter.  Educated in Eisenach, the composer went on to study composition in Italy for about two years before becoming court Kapellmeister at Karlsruhe and later, in 1734, of the court of Duke Wilhelm Heinrich of Sase-Eisenach.  Listeners will recognize in his setting of Hertzlich tut mit verlangen a tune widely known as the Passion Chorale used prevalently in J. S. Bach’s setting of the St. Matthew Passion.

In addition to the music of the brass quartet, the Christ Church Choir will present during the offertory Sir John Stainer’s, God so Loved the World from late nineteenth-century oratorio, The Crucifixion.  The piece will be preceded by the tenor solo that segues into the beloved a cappella chorus.  The soloist will be tenor, Jason Kakuk.  Also, featured will be the Christ Church Choral Scholars in a setting of George Herbert’s text, Lord, Who Hast Formed Me arranged by a South Carolina composer, Arlen Clarke.

For more information about this and other music offerings at Christ Church, please visit www.christchurcheaston.org or call 410-822-2677.

Accomplished Violinist to Perform with Christ Church String Quartet

The Christ Church String Quartet will perform a series of pieces appropriate to the Lenten season at the 11:00 worship service at Christ Church Easton this Sunday, February 25.  Guest violinist Netanel Draiblate, concertmaster for the Annapolis Symphony and rising star in the violin world, will be performing as part of the ensemble.  Hailed as “an extremely gifted violinist with a strong stage personality and charisma,” Netanel Draiblate has concertized across four continents. The versatile artist performs as a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist, and The Washington Post has called him “a violinist who combines confidence and virtuosity with a playful musical personality.”  Draiblate made his solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 2008.

Prelude music will begin on Sunday at 10:45 am.  The quartet will open with the lovely Canzona in d minor (BWV 588) by J. S. Bach.  Originally composed for organ, the piece contains four distinct voices lending itself to this rendition performed by two violins, viola, and cello.  Following the canzona, the quartet will be joined by oboist Heidi Schultz to present an aria from Bach’s Cantata BWV 197.  Originally composed for a wedding ceremony, the elegant piece is in the form of a trio sonata originally written for soprano solo, here substituted by the oboe.  At the communion, the string quartet will perform the immensely popular, The Prayer by Carol Sager and David Foster.  The piece will precede the Adagio from Concert in d minor (BWV 1060) also by Bach.  This charmingly exquisite movement will feature both Mr. Draiblate and Ms. Schultz with continuo.  Also, included in Sunday’s lineup is Gilbert Martin’s When I Survey the Wondrous Cross to be performed by the Christ Church Choir.   A classic in the world of choral literature, the arrangement contains all the elements of choral expression beginning with a pensive and reflective beginning that builds to an unrestrained and passionate resolve at its conclusion.

Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  The public is invited to share in this experience.  For more information, call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

Maryland State Boychoir to Perform at Christ Church Easton

On Sunday, February 11 at 4 pm, the Maryland State Boychoir will perform at Christ Church in Easton.  The performance under the direction of Artistic Director, Stephen Holmes will feature the Tour Choir and Young Men’s Choir.  Founded in 1987 with 14 boys, the mission of The Maryland State Boychoir has been to foster the boychoir tradition by offering talented boys opportunities to sing and build self-esteem, self-discipline and character. Thirty years later, the MSB still embraces that goal and is now comprised of approximately 130 choristers and five choirs.

Recognized as Maryland’s “Official Goodwill Ambassadors,” the MSB performs over 80 times annually. In addition to performing throughout Maryland, the boychoir performs  in surrounding states, and on tours that have taken them to Ireland, Wales, England, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Canada, Iceland, Bermuda and more than thirty-five states in the mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest regions of the U.S. Throughout the state of Maryland, the MSB has performed at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, the United States Naval Academy Chapel, the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Lyric Opera House, the State House, the Governor’s Mansion, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and Loyola College. Throughout the U.S., the MSB has performed at the White House, the Kennedy Center, the PGA President’s Cup, the National Cathedral in Washington DC, St. Patrick’s and Holy Trinity Cathedrals in New York, Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, Capitol University in Ohio, and The University of Central Arkansas.

In addition to its live performances, the MSB has produced six recordings: The Healing Power of Music (2013), Brothers (2006), Remember Me (2001), What Sweeter Music (1998), The Maryland State Boychoir—Live in Performance (1997), and An Die Musik (1994). They have been featured on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street,” National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” and on Maryland Public Television. In addition, its Christmas CD, What Sweeter Music, was broadcast nationally on National Family Radio.

Sunday’s concert is sponsored in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  Doors open at 3:30 pm, and a freewill offering will be received.  For more information, call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

U. S. Naval Academy Organist to Perform at Christ Church Easton

This Sunday, January 21, at 4 pm Monte Maxwell, principal organist for the United States Naval Academy, will present a concert on the four-manual console of Christ Church in Easton. Mr. Maxwell holds degrees from Texas Christian University, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with John Weaver. While at Curtis, Mr. Maxwell was an Associate Organist at the John Wanamaker Store playing the famed six-manual organ, the largest playing organ in the world. Later, he received an Artist Diploma, Curtis’ highest degree. At the Naval Academy, Mr. Maxwell commands the five-manual, 268-rank organ in the main chapel, which has recently undergone substantial enhancement under his direction and design. His annual All Saints’ Day Organ Concert has become a staple of the Naval Academy and greater Annapolis cultural community. The standing-room-only event drew some 3,000 people into the Naval Academy Chapel in 1998, breaking all records in attendance for any event throughout the Chapel’s history.

Sunday’s concert will be comprised of a host of works composed by Richard Wagner, J. S. Bach, Charles-Marie Widor, John Phillip Sousa, Anton Dvôrak and others.  Also known for his improvisational prowess, Maxwell will conclude the performance with an improvisation on submitted themes.  The concert is part of the Christ Church Concert Series and is underwritten in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  Doors open at 3:30 pm, and the public is invited.  A freewill offering will be received.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in Easton.  For more information, call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

Christ Church Easton Celebrates Advent

This Sunday, December 10, Christ Church in Easton will present music of the Advent season in two contrasting lineups.  During the morning 11:00 service, the Christ Church Brass will present two selections transcribed for brass from George Frederick Handel’s Messiah as well as other seasonal selections including J. S. Bach’s, Shepherds Wake!  A Voice is Calling often referenced as Wachet auf, ruft us dir Stimme.  Additionally, the Christ Church Choir will present Charles Villiers Stanford’s Benedictus in C, a majestic and powerful example of the English repertoire.  Prelude music will begin at 10:50 am.

At 4:00 pm, the music ministry will combine to present Advent Lessons and Carols which will include the Christ Church Choir, the Choral Scholars, St. Peter’s Carillion (the adult handbell choir), the Christ Church Boychoir, harp, oboe, flute, and organ.  The program, officially part of the Christ Church Concert Series, is a service of Advent music developed at Salisbury Cathedral and St. James Cathedral in Chicago.  Among the various musical selections are the work of composers including Palestrina, Johann Sebastian Bach, Elizabeth Posten, Francis Patrick O’Brien, Malcolm Archer, and others.  A freewill offering will be received, and the public is cordially invited to attend.  Support for this musical feast is given in part by the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.  Doors open at 3:30 pm.  The church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.