The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society presents its Winter 2015 concert, “This Day”, featuring music for the Holiday season. The choral selections include “Hodie” by Ralph Vaughan Williams and “A Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten. Opening the program will be an instrumental work composed by J.S. Bach, Brandenburg’s Concerto No. 2, chosen to showcase the Burnt Hills Oratorio Chamber Orchestra.
The concert will take place on Saturday, December 5th, 3:00 pm at Grace Chapel, 996 Main Street, in Clifton Park, NY. This is a new performing venue for the chorus. This location was selected because of its lovely country setting, comfortable seating, and ample parking. Tickets can be purchased online at the choir’s website www.BHOS.us. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the concert. General admission is $20. Other prices include group tickets (10 or more) for $18, and student tickets for $10. Please have your student ID ready to present to the ushers.
At the podium will be Guest Artistic Director Curtis Funk. Well known in this area as the Artistic Director of Octavos, Mr. Funk generously offered to be an interim director while the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society undergoes a search for a new permanent director.
Also featured at this holiday concert will be three vocal soloists: Amy Shake (soprano), Alexander Turpin (tenor), and Kevin Kees (bass). The choir and soloists will be accompanied by Karlinda Caldicott on the harp and by the BHOS Chamber Orchestra.
“A Ceremony of Carols”, Op. 28, is a choral piece by Benjamin Britten, scored for SATB chorus, solo voices, and harp. Written for Christmas, it consists of eleven movements, and was written in 1942 while Britten was at sea, going from the United States to England. The text is in Middle English and was originally conceived as a series of unrelated songs, but was later unified into one piece. The piece begins and ends with a beautiful and haunting Gregorian chant.
“Hodie” (This Day) is a cantata by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The word hodie comes from Latin and means “on this day,” hence the title of the concert. Composed between 1953 and 1954, it is the composer’s last major choral-orchestral composition, and was premiered under his baton on September 8, 1954.The cantata, in 16 movements, is scored for chorus, boys’ choir, organ, and orchestra, and features tenor, baritone, and soprano soloists. For this presentation, the part of the boys’ choir will be sung by the female voices of BHOS.
The Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach are a collection of six instrumental works and are widely regarded as some of the best orchestral compositions of the Baroque era. The Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 is often singled out for special occasions because of its virtuosic and brilliant high trumpet part.