Berkshire Choral Festival Celebrates Song with Conductor Jerry Blackstone

BerkshireChoral-Rehearsal

7:30 pm • Saturday, July 20th 2013
Stewart Center at Berkshire School • Sheffield, MA

The idea of expressing song is a fundamental part of our being. And to share this fundamental part of our being connects us as human beings … in a way that nothing else does. Nothing else does.    –Morten Laurdisen

Morten Lauridsen’s words point to one of the underlying backbones of the Berkshire Choral Festival, so it’s fitting that one of his works is on the BCT’s program this Saturday night.

The BCF’s concert has Jerry Blackstone on the podium leading the 150-voice Festival Chorus and the Springfield Symphony. The program includes:

    • Morten Lauridsen – Mid-Winter Songs
    • Ralph Vaughan Williams – Dona Nobis Pacem
    • Ralph Vaughan Williams – Five Mystical Songs

A free pre-concert talk will take place at 6:15 PM by musicologist Dr. Laura Stanfield Pritchard.

The Berkshire Choral Festival offers singing vacations for choral singers from across the United States and around the world. Founded in 1982 with a unique purpose of providing choral singers with the opportunity to rehearse and perform masterpieces of the choral repertoire under the direction of world-class conductors and with the help of a professional music staff, a special kind of choral community is created and shared through the immersion of intense musical study and performance.

Unlike choral tours abroad where one may experience the exhaustion of travel and distraction of sightseeing, BCF participants get to stay in one place and devote themselves to the works being performed. Yet, still have time to relax and enjoy the many activities and attractions of the Berkshires and surrounding regions. Pretty cool, huh?!

Indeed cool …. given this week it is really good to know that The Jackman L. Stewart Center where the Berkshire Choral Festival’s Saturday night performance is … is air conditioned.

You might also want to know that in addition to conductor Jerry Blackstone’s “day job” as Director of Choirs and Chair of the Conducting Department at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (a pretty hefty job administering a choral program of 11 choirs along with other responsibilities), he is also a GRAMMY® Award winning conductor.  In 2006 he received two GRAMMY® Awards (“Best Choral Performance” and “Best Classical Album”) as chorusmaster for the critically acclaimed Naxos recording of William Bolcom’s monumental Songs of Innocence and of Experience.

Sounds like a really nice evening of song … hope to see you there.  Until then, we’ll leave you with a video clip from Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen, a documentary film about the eminent American choral composer and National Medal of Arts recipient (2007).

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