Keeping in mind the safety of singers, instrumentalists and the general public, Westchester Oratorio Society is back for the 2020-2021 Season, virtually! The chorus will resume rehearsals on Tuesday, September 8, with weekly one-hour sessions streamed live via YouTube led by the group’s artistic director, Benjamin Niemczyk in collaboration with assistant artistic director and accompanist Mun-Tzung Wong.
Participating singers will be preparing for a virtual performance later in the fall featuring the Fauré, Requiem and Cantique de Jean Racine, as well as Brahms Geistliches Lied, and a virtual Messiah “Sing-along” in December. Each session will include rehearsal of the pieces being presented as well as talks on the lives of the composers as well as the historical context and theoretical and technical aspects of the pieces being performed.
Mr. Niemczyk who is beginning his fourteenth season as artistic director acknowledged that some technical hurdles still needed to be worked out before the performance but stressed that the group was looking forward to continuing to fulfill its mission of sharing beautiful music with local audiences and providing performance opportunities the many talented young professional musicians they work with. An accomplished conductor, singer and composer, he is a co-founder of both the New Westchester Symphony Orchestra and C4 (The Choral Composer—Conductor Collective). Ms. Wong is a concert level pianist and professional vocal coach. Her other positions include with the St. Petersburg Opera (FL) and the Manhattan School of Music.
The oratorio society is also looking forward to performing the great Bach “Mass in B minor” in June, 2021 with assistance from a grant from the Westchester Community Foundation. In person rehearsals are normally held on Tuesday evenings at the Katonah (NY) Village Library. Competent singers in all voice parts are always welcome to join.