Rochester, NY — The Eastman Chorale, a select graduate and undergraduate ensemble of 60 voices from the Eastman School of Music, conducted by William Weinert, is set for a five-concert Eastern United States tour next month.
As is typical of this ensemble, the tour program reflects a wide variety of styles, and includes both a world and an American premiere. The first half of the program features works based on texts from the Psalms and The Song of Solomon by composers J. P. Sweelinck, Georg Schumann, George Rochberg, Melchior Frank, Sebastien de Vivanco and Heinrich Schütz. Schutz’s Psalm 116 (1623) is a rarely performed masterpiece, using the psalm in its entirety.
The second half of the concert opens with Benjamin Britten’s 1939 A.M.D.G. (Ad Majorem Dei Gloria) — the motto of the Jesuit order — published posthumously in 1989. Featured in its world premiere is Turtle Hymns, by Eastman composition student Jon Forshee, written without the use of text. Also featured is the American premiere of Consider the Lilies of the Field, a work by Christopher Marshall, one of New Zealand’s most prominent composers, who spent the 1996-97 season in residence at the Eastman School. His work uses text from the Book of Matthew. The concert closes with three works by Ralph Vaughn Williams — Silence and Music, written in 1952 for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, The Turtle Dove, and Just as the Tide was Flowing.
All concerts are free and open to the public; donations will be accepted. The Eastman Chorale tour schedule is as follows:
- Thursday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, Connecticut. The concert is co-sponsored by the Greenwich High School Choir, which will open the concert with a few short works.
- Friday, November 22 at 12:15 p.m. in Boston, Massachusetts at Trinity Church in Copley Square.
- Friday, November 22 at 8:00 p.m. at the Congregational Church in Needham, Massachusetts.
- Saturday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Utica, New York. This concert is co-sponsored by the New Hartford High School Choir.
- Sunday, November 24 at 8:00 p.m., the Chorale returns to Rochester to perform at Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall.
Since 1994, William Weinert has served as director of choral activities at the Eastman School of Music, where he conducts the Eastman Chorale and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, as well as supervises students in the master’s and doctoral programs in choral conducting. Co-chair of Eastman’s conducting and ensembles department, Weinert has conducted throughout the country and in France, Germany, and Hong Kong. Since 1998, he has been editor of the American Choral Review.
For more information on the Eastman School, visit the web site at: www.rochester.edu/Eastman.