April 11, 2013
The Right Rev. Allen Bartlett, a retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, will be among those honored Saturday at an event hosted by the Women's Sacred Music Project. The occasion is the 10th Anniversary of "Voices Found: Women in the Church's Song," a hymnal supplement that focuses on women-centered spiritual music. The publication is now officially part of the Episcopal Church's liturgical materials and is also used by other denominations. Bartlett and the Rev. Paulette Schiff, retired associate rector of St. Marks Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, will be the first recipients of an award created by the music project, which aims to promote the creation and performance of music by, for and about women.
March 21, 2013 |
When composer Eric Whitacre launched his East Coast tour Monday, he received such a rock-star greeting that he wondered whether he should have a stack of amplifiers and a mean-sounding Stratocaster. "I felt a little guilty," he says. "I wanted to have something to meet that young energy. " Instead, he conducted 30-plus singers in Monteverdi and his own trademark ethereal tones, which many listeners drove considerable distances to hear at the Strathmore concert hall near Baltimore.
January 8, 2013 |
W. Ernest Wells, 86, a retired choirmaster and organist who enjoyed entertaining friends by playing show tunes and hymns on his Baldwin upright piano, died Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the Gwynedd Square Nursing Center in Lansdale. His daughter, Christina Jane Lennox, said her father had been in poor health since suffering a stroke two years ago. He had most recently lived in Ambler. In pursuit of his lifelong love of music, Mr. Wells left his home in Birmingham, Ala., when he was 17 to attend Westminster Choir College in Princeton, where he earned a degree in choral music.
December 24, 2012 |
Joy is the destination emotion this time of year. And the pressure to get there is enormous, which is where Christmas concerts come into our lives. Two weekend programs intelligently attacked the problem from opposite directions: Piffaro the Renaissance Band took the left-brain route Saturday at the Trinity Center in a Germanic program with fine program notes and lighting levels that allowed you follow translations from Latin and German when guest soprano Laura Heimes was singing. On Friday, the Crossing choir at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill was a right-brain concert full of mystery and candlelit atmosphere.
October 30, 2012 |
Great music often takes on shades of its surroundings, which is why at least two weekend concerts seemed to be issuing veiled warnings about the impending storm. The end of the world was the topic of the Buxtehude Consort's program Saturday at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill. No mentions of hurricanes were heard, but "Heaven, earth, air and sea prepare themselves to exact revenge" was how G.F. Telemann (1681-1767) began one of his cantatas, and you know he wasn't just riffing on Weather Channel hysteria.
October 23, 2012 |
Just because Philadelphia choral organizations are laudably focused on new music more than ever these days doesn't mean their concerts are anything alike. Sunday's Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia's Center City concert had new works by Robert Moran that settled in comfortably with Bruckner. On Saturday, the Crossing's concert at Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill was more political than poetic, articulated in a fashion far more removed than the 13 geographic miles separating the two. The Crossing's program betrayed no allegiances to any political party, but director Donald Nally was definitely addressing eternal issues of class struggle, most especially in David Lang's Statement to the Court , premiered by the Crossing in 2010 but reprised Saturday in a far better performance.
June 22, 2012 |
Robert J. Reilley Sr., 74, of Jeffersonville, choir director at Paoli Presbyterian Church from 1974 to 2008, died Thursday, June 14, of lung cancer at Montgomery Hospital. In 1968, Mr. Reilley and his wife, Gail, founded the Mastersingers, a chorus that he last conducted May 5 in a concert at Paoli Presbyterian. While tending those two sidelines, Mr. Reilley was a career public-school music teacher. From 1964 to 1967, he taught music and was the choral director at Huntingdon Junior High School in the Abington School District, his wife said.
May 26, 2012 |
It took decades for Albert Barnes to amass his eclectic collection and years of negotiations to get it into a new home on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, so its momentous opening weekend will be celebrated with 56 consecutive hours of free events. "This really is a celebration, and we want to do as much as possible, since public programming is clearly new to the Barnes," said Kathleen Greene, the public programming manager. Most of the timed tickets for the opening weekend sold out weeks ago, but the Barnes is holding back a few tickets a day for walk-up visitors, plus whatever may be turned back by those who bought them earlier.
January 29, 2012 |
A high school choir from Camden is rehearsing for a European competition. Although they'll sing a selection in Latin, language is hardly the biggest barrier for 25 students from Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy who want to attend the Young Prague festival. Getting to the Czech Republic by March 27 is the major challenge. "We have to raise $45,000, and we're not halfway there yet," says Suzzette Ortiz, conductor of the concert choir. The school's gospel choir and string section will compete as well.