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The Festival Singers of Florida - The British Way
Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM (EST)
Winter Park, FL
Here's a brief description of what you can expect to hear at The British Way!
Gloria, arguably John Rutter's most popular composition, headlines the concert. Based on the Latin text from the Ordinary of the Mass, Gloria is written for mixed voices, brass, percussion, and organ. The three-movement work is by turns touching and thrilling, alternating soaring vocal lines with contemporary harmonies, catchy rhythms all fully supported by a stunningly powerful accompaniment.
Born in London in 1945, Rutter's compositions embrace choral, orchestral, and instrumental music. In 1981 he formed and conducts the renowned Cambridge Singers choir and in 2007 he was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music.
Let the People Praise Thee, O God, written by William Mathias for the July 1981 royal wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales. Born in Wales, Mathias studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Although his compositions include large scale works ranging from opera to symphonies and piano concertos, much of his music was written for the Anglican choral tradition.
Song for Athene, composed by John Kenneth Tavener, was commissioned by the BBC in 1993 and performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 under the title "Alleluia, May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." Tavener, born January 1944 in London, England, studied at London Highgate School along with fellow pupil John Rutter and at the Royal Academy of Music.
In Windsor Forest, is a cantata for mixed voices composed by Ralph Vaughn Williams and adapted from his opera, "Sir John in Love." Vaughn Williams (1872-1958) studied at the Royal College of Music and for this work mainly used text from Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. Scored in five movements, the work opens with 1) "The Conspiracy" featuring women's voices; 2) a rollicking men's drinking song; 3) a full chorus rendition entitled Falstaff and the Fairies; 4) a wedding song written in Vaughan Williams' rich post-Romantic style; 5) the regal and majestic "Epilogue" featuring a theme rich in rhythmic contrapuntal writing.
Two program selections are by Jonathan Dove. Born in 1959, Dove is perhaps best known for his canon of operas. His music is appreciated by listeners new and old, and provides performers, audiences and directors rich possibilities for interpretation. His flare for the dramatic also informs his church music.
Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars is a setting of biblical texts from Amos 5:8 and Psalm 139. Listeners can "hear" the twinkling stars of the title and the interjection of the words "seek Him" create an exciting and beguiling effect. The work ends simply, understated and beautifully balanced, much like the piece as a whole.
Missa Brevis, as the name implies, is a brief Mass. It is a commissioned work that required the composer to produce a challenging, accessible, and economical work. Dove achieved all three goals perfectly in this 14-minute work.
The British Way!
You won't want to miss it!
When & Where
The Festival Singers of Florida
The Festival Singers of Florida is a highly select, auditioned choral ensemble consisting of women and men from throughout Florida. Several advocates of choral music have joined together to create a choir that will serve singers and patrons of Central Florida. Dr. Kevin Fenton serves as the ensemble’s conductor.
Our mission is “to provide an artistic outlet and promote musical growth for outstanding singers in Florida. The Festival Singers of Florida is dedicated to expanding the awareness and appreciation of the choral arts in Central Florida and the Southeast by providing community performances of the highest quality.”
Many members of the Festival Singers of Florida are music teachers throughout the state. We have singers who teach elementary, middle, and high school chorus, as well as private voice professors, opera company members, and various other musical professions. These dedicated singers learn music on their own, and for four weekends a year, gather together for rehearsals and concerts. As many of our singers chose music as a profession, the love of performance is what drives them to dedicate time and money to this organization. Our members are not paid, and some drive as many as 450 miles round trip for the opportunity to sing with the Festival Singers of Florida for the weekend. The potential to create music with other people who also share the same passion is what creates the electric feeling of the Festival Singers of Florida. Audience members can hear this electricity onstage.