June 19, 2016
Requiem for Orlando. Musicians will gather at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, 21st and Walnut Streets, in a musical memorial to victims of last week's mass murder in Orlando. Church music director Andrew Senn will lead musicians from the Academy of Vocal Arts, Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia Orchestra, and others in movements from the requiems of Brahms and Fauré, choral music by Mozart and Dawson, the "Nimrod" movement from Elgar's Enigma Variations , and Barber's Adagio for Strings . A freewill offering will go toward Heeding God's Call, a faith-based anti-gun-violence group, and the William Way LGBT Community Center.
March 13, 2016 |
Always mighty, often amazing, the Mahler Symphony No. 8 unfolded Thursday with somewhat less than the supposed thousand musicians for whom the piece was ideally conceived. But you wouldn't have wanted more than the Philadelphia Orchestra's 420 singers and instrumentalists, who made as much sound as the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall could hold. The first of four sold-out performances that promised to be (and were) the season's highlight, the event commemorated the 100th anniversary of the orchestra's U.S. premiere of the Mahler 8th under Leopold Stokowski.
October 28, 2015 |
PRINCETON - It all feels so easy, looks so casual. But it sounds unlike anything. Roomful of Teeth, the vocal octet whose somewhat regular presence here Philadelphians should envy, seemed to be just dropping in at the McCarter Theatre Center for an 80-minute-or-so Sunday program that may have radically changed forever the way some listeners hear voices in concert. Far more inviting than alienating (as innovation can be on first encounter), this group founded by Brad Wells uses amplification - each singer has a microphone - to create intimacy with the audience, sometimes as though the voices are whispering in your ear. In a darkened auditorium with singers in everyday street clothes, there's almost a campfire effect.
September 11, 2015 |
HELEN KEMP was internationally known as a specialist in teaching children to sing, but in later years she discovered the pleasures of teaching singing to seniors. She trained children and their teachers in the art of choral singing for more than seven decades. When she went to a retirement home in Doylestown, she organized retirees into a chorus that was highly acclaimed. Helen Hubbert Kemp, a lyric soprano who sang with some of the leading orchestras of her day, a former faculty member of the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and a composer of more than 35 anthems, died Aug. 23. She was 97 and lived in Jamison, Bucks County.
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.