Hudson Chorale, the area’s largest mixed voice chorus, is welcoming new members in all voice parts (SATB) to join them for an exciting 2016-2017 season that will appeal to choral singers of a wide range of musical preferences. This is the Chorale’s first full season under the artistic direction of Ira Spaulding who joined Hudson Chorale last fall as Interim Music Director. He was asked to continue as Music Director in February 2016 after the chorus’ first concert under his direction was received with such high acclaim by the members, the orchestra and the audience as well. Singer-friendly auditions will begin on Monday, September 12, 2016, by appointment, prior to the first rehearsal. Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings from 7:30 – 10:00 p.m. at the Pleasantville Presbyterian Church, 400 Bedford Rd, Pleasantville, NY. To receive additional information and/or to schedule a time for an audition, contact Jeanne Wygant at JeanneWygant@optonline.net or call (914) 478-0074.
The first concert program, which will take place on Friday, January 27 and Sunday, January 29, 2017, is entitled Variations on a Text. Both singers and audience will experience how the same words were interpreted musically by composers from different eras (spanning the Renaissance to the present day), cultures, religions and countries. The program will include diverse and contrasting settings of the Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi, John Rutter, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and others, the Te Deum by Benjamin Britten and Franz Joseph Haydn, and Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus which will be coupled with Herbert Howell’s setting of the same text in English, Like As the Hart Desireth the Waterbrook, plus more. For the audience’s additional enjoyment, the chorus’ highly accomplished accompanist, pianist and organist, David Baranowski, will play two litanies composed for organ from the French Romantic Period: Jehan Alain’s Litanies and Marcel Dupré’s Cortège et Litanie. What better place to perform a concert of great sacred music with organ or piano accompaniment than at the magnificent and inspirational Queen of the Apostles Chapel at Maryknoll in Ossining, NY!
The second concert program of the season, entitled Requiem, will be presented on Friday, June 2 and Sunday, June 4, 2017. It features Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s beloved and timeless Requiem (with full orchestra and soloists), a favorite of choral singers, along with a collection of pieces that illustrate the different ways in which composers from baroque to contemporary, with vastly differently styles and from various cultures, have used the universal language of music to express the emotions associated with death, loss and mourning – each in their own unique way. The additional works include Henry Purcell’s masterful Funeral Music for Queen Mary (with brass and timpani), along with other choral gems by Johannes Brahms, Antonio Lotti, and American-born William Schuman, as well as a selection of Negro Spirituals. This eclectic and moving program, to be performed in the wonderful acoustics of the church of St. John the Evangelist in White Plains, NY, will be a joy for singers to master and an audience to receive.
The Chorale’s dedication to giving and receiving the satisfaction and enjoyment that comes with musical excellence demands outstanding direction and discipline (while still having fun!), and it can be found under the leadership and skills of its Music Director/Conductor, Ira Spaulding, who will be conducting all performances. Maestro Spaulding is a choral conductor, singer and choral master class instructor whose career spans 36 years of performance in more than 60 countries. He is currently Professor of Vocal and Choral Music at City College of New York and maintains a career abroad as a singer and conductor. The chorus’ Accompanist/Assistant Music Director, David Baranowski, is a household name to choral singers in the Westchester area due to his virtuosity on piano, keyboard, organ and harpsichord.
Since 2010, Hudson Chorale has been performing in venues throughout the county, bringing the best in choral singing to the Hudson Valley. Concerts include a wide breadth of musical genre including traditional choral pieces such as the Brahms Requiem, lesser known but masterful works such as the Mass in D by John Knowles Paine, contemporary works by composers such as Morten Lauridsen and Eric Whitacre, plus other selections that add color and interest to the musical palette. To learn more about the chorus, visit the website at www.HudsonChorale.org.