I have to be honest with you…there are times when programming a concert season is just painful. Pleasing the audience, making sure to challenge your singers just enough to keep their interest, all the while, making sure that the conductor also has to find challenge and reward in the music as well. I find myself agonizing over it a great deal.
Then, of course, there are times when the programming just falls into your lap, so to speak. Take the 2016-2017 One Voice Chorus concert season. It wasn’t particularly an easy task, but it almost “planned itself”!
I love the idea of juxtaposition in music. I knew for a while I wanted to do a concert where I got to explore conflict and resolution on a grand scale. I instantly thought of F. J. Haydn’s Missa in angustiis. Known more colloquially as “Lord Nelson Mass”, the composition, which at first was written in dedication to Empress Marie Theresa of deals with Haydn’s reaction to Napoleon’s occupation of Austria. Pairing this with Zoltan Kodaly’s Missa Brevis, which was composed while Kodaly’s home country, Hungary, was under the occupation of the Third Reich. Through the marriage of these two pieces in concert, we set the stage for our November presentation, “War and Peace”.
Contemporary composer Robert Ray is a champion of music that celebrates the African American heritage. His Gospel Mass, in addition to the music of Moses Hogan, Rollo Dilworth, and Rosephanye Powell among others shapes our African American experience concert “Let My People Go”. OVC dedicates this presentation to the memory of the lives lost in the ongoing fight for justice in the United States that became unavoidably apparent during the summer of 2016. The works of the great American musical theater composers is the focus of “Broadway Revisited”, is the focus of OVC’s spring presentation. Featuring selections from South Pacific, Show Boat, and West Side Story, this concert is sure to please every person who loves the music of the Great White Way!
It is my sincere hope that you will join us for one, two, or all of these concerts!