Oratorio Society of Virginia hosts Together in Song Community Sing
** An Affiliated Event
Charlottesville, Virginia –February 21, 2017 - The Oratorio Society of Virginia hosts their fourth-annual Together in Song community sing Saturday, March 18, 2017, at First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park Street, Charlottesville. Local choral singers are invited to participate in a morning master class with Music Director Michael Slon and an afternoon performance with the Oratorio Society chorus of contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna.
Together in Song will begin with a 10:00 AM choral master class for local singers who are asked to learn the Lauridsen music in advance. At 4:00 PM, the Oratorio Society chorus and guest singers will present Lux Aeterna to the community in a concert that will include additional choral selections by the Oratorio Society including Amy Beach’s “I Will Give Thanks.” Accompaniment on First Presbyterian Church’s Casavant organ will be provided by Duke Chapel organist Christopher “Kit” Jacobsen, a Staunton native who previously studied in Charlottesville under Yvaine Duisit.
Morten Lauridsen composed Lux Aeterna for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, for which he was Composer-in-Residence from 1994 to 2001. The Chorale premiered Lux Aeterna on April 13, 1997, and the Oratorio Society of Virginia is pleased to bring Lauridsen’s work to the Charlottesville community on the eve of the piece’s 20th anniversary.
Inspired by Lauridsen’s mother’s final illness, each of the Lux Aeterna’s five movements, based on sacred Latin texts, explores different types of light – spiritual, artistic, and intellectual - including eternal light (the meaning of the Latin “lux aeterna”).
Considered one of the nation’s finest choral composers, Morten Lauridsen was named an “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2005 and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush in a White House ceremony “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth.” A University of Southern California Professor of Composition who summers on Waldron Island off the northern coast of Washington state, Lauridsen is also the topic of a documentary film, Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen, which offers a glimpse into his life and music.
To participate in the Oratorio Society’s fourth-annual Together in Song and obtain a score in advance, sign up at www.oratoriosociety.org. Participation is $25 for adults and $15 for students. Those who would rather listen to the performance can be part of the 4 PM concert audience: tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and are available on the Oratorio Society website or by calling (434) 295-4385.
For 50 years, the Oratorio Society of Virginia has offered high quality, engaging choral concerts to enrich, inspire, and educate the local community. In the coming months, the Oratorio Society will be continuing its 50th Anniversary Celebration with special programming, and hopes to cap off the celebration with a special concert featuring a commissioned work by a national distinguished composer. Past Oratorio Society repertoire includes works by Bach, Bernstein, Brahms, Haydn, Honegger, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Rutter, Vaughan Williams, and Verdi. The ensemble has collaborated with other arts organizations, including Ash Lawn Opera, the Charlottesville Ballet, the UVA University Singers, and the Charlottesville Symphony, to present larger works. For more information, visit www.oratoriosociety.org.