On Sunday afternoon, November 22, one hundred singers — including Middlebury College students from across the globe and residents from nearly every town in Addison County — will take their places in the choir pews inside Mead Chapel as the Middlebury College Community Chorus presents its annual Thanksgiving concert. This free, hour-long performance begins at 3:00 p.m. and is open to all.
The program includes a mix of exciting classical choruses alongside newer works. The choir will offer the magnificent first movement of J. S. Bach’s Magnificat; Felix Mendelssohn’s setting of the Thanksgiving chorale Now Thank We All our God; and the final choruses from G. F. Handel’s Messiah with the thrilling counterpoint of voices singing Blessing and Honor… Amen! Works by contemporary American composer-conductors include an exciting setting of a thanksgiving psalm, Jubilate Deo (Make a joyful noise unto God) by David N. Childs, and the beautiful Pilgrims’ Hymn by Stephen Paulus. The choir presents Soulspeak by Z. Randall Stroope, a brand new song with an inspiring text from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses. Also slated is Jeffery Ames’s Let Everything that Hath Breath, an uplifting gospel song with its driving rhythm, as well as a beautiful new arrangement by Craig Courtney of Let There Be Peace on Earth.
Conductor Jeff Rehbach notes that the Chorus is privileged this season to perform two works by members of our local communities. Sally Hoyler, well-known in the community as Ripton town clerk and a long-time member of the Chorus, succumbed to cancer in early 2015. In her memory, the chorus will sing a beautiful, flowing song that she composed several years ago that begins with the lyrical text “Ocean, ocean sing to me the silent music of the soul.” The choir will also premiere a brand-new work, A Blessing for Dear Friends, written by Nathan Wallace-Gusakov. Nate grew up in Bristol and now lives with his family in Lincoln and appears frequently playing banjo with music groups in the area. His composition offers hope for peace and love, light to guide the way, and concludes “may you come home to love” – a fitting sentiment for this Thanksgiving program.
Members of the College Community chorus travel for weekly rehearsals from throughout the region, including Cornwall, Weybridge, Middlebury, Ripton, Goshen, Bristol, Monkton, New Haven, Waltham, Vergennes, Ferrisburgh, Charlotte, East Middlebury, Salisbury, Leicester, Brandon, Rutland, Orwell, Shoreham, Addison, Port Henry and Moriah. College students hail from Vermont, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Illinois, Hong Kong and Kenya. Jeff Rehbach is in his sixteenth season as conductor of the College Community Chorus, and Timothy Guiles serves as the ensemble’s remarkable accompanist. The group is open without audition to all singers who delight in participating in this 150-year-old community tradition, hosted by Middlebury College.
For up-to-date information, check on the web at http://go.middlebury.edu/communitychorus or contact director Jeff Rehbach at 989-7355.
The Middlebury College Community Chorus announces a new season to prepare a concert to celebrate Thanksgiving, slated for performance at Mead Chapel on the Middlebury College campus on Sunday afternoon, November 23. Regular rehearsals are Sunday and Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in Mead Chapel on the Middlebury College campus. Rehearsals begin Tuesday, September 9, at 7:00 p.m. Staff and faculty, as well as students, are welcome to join the chorus through September 23; participants should plan to attend at least one rehearsal each week. Conductor Jeff Rehbach notes, “The Chorus is especially privileged this season to be performing works by great composers of the past, alongside amazing new music by Middlebury composer Sam Guarnaccia. These pieces celebrate and honor the amazing universe in which we live.”
The centerpiece of the program features the Middlebury premiere of selections from an extended work by Guarnaccia, Emergent Universe Oratorio, written just one year ago. It is a powerful and sensitive work, drawing on texts that describe the universe and its creation and transformation. In addition to texts by contemporary writers spoken by a narrator, the performance includes four choruses accompanied by chamber orchestra: EaarthRise Amen by Thomas Berry; Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry; Awakening by Brian Swimme & Mary Evelyn Tucker, creators of the documentary video Journey of the Universe; and To See a World by William Blake.
The Thanksgiving program includes the exuberant chorus The Heavens are Telling from classical composer Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Creation.” The choir will prepare three choruses with historic texts from the Psalms by George Frederick Handel: As Pants the Hart (from Psalm 42); Put Thy Trust in God (from Psalm 43); In the Voice of Praise and Thanksgiving (from Psalm 26). The Chorus will reprise a work from its past Thanksgiving concerts by contemporary Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus, Hymn for America, that recognizes and gives thanks for the variety and beauty of our country’s landscape. We also give tribute to American folksinger and environmentalist Pete Seeger with a beautiful setting of his song, To My Old Brown Earth.
Jeff Rehbach begins his fifteenth season as director of the community chorus, and Timothy Guiles returns as accompanist. The College Community Chorus welcomes all interested singers to join the ensemble. Numbering nearly 100 singers, the group is open without audition or mandatory fees to all singers who can follow a musical score. Its members travel from throughout the region to participate in this 150-year-old community tradition.
For information, check on the web at go.middlebury.edu/communitychorus or contact director Jeff Rehbach at 989-7355.
It’s well-known that music and singing have great, positive effects on mind and body, so we hope you’ll consider joining fellow staff, faculty, and students, and residents from Addison County, as part of the College Community Chorus. Rehearsals for our spring program begin in J-term, as we prepare an exciting program for performance with the Champlain Philharmonic, including a newly arranged work by professor Peter Hamlin with texts by Julia Alvarez, Jay Parini, Robert Pack, Langston Hughes; selections from Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore; works by Verdi including the famous Anvil Chorus; and Aaron Copland’s inspiring The Promise of Living.
No audition needed. Just stop by to sign out a folder and start to join in the song! J-term is a great time to explore the world of music!
Sun, 1/12 (7-8:30, Mead Chapel); Tue, 1/14 (7-8:30, Mead).
Sun, 1/19 (7-8:30, Mead); Tue, 1/21 (7-8:30, MCA CH)
Sun, 1/26 (7-8:30, Mead)
Info: Jeff Rehbach, conductor, 989-7355 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’m so happy to be a part of community chorus — it makes Sundays and Tuesdays bright spots in my week.”
All are welcome to join colleagues, students and community members and to have an enjoyable time making music in the community in the College Community Chorus!
This fall we blend together a mix of musical styles, with classical pieces by Mendelssohn and Brahms alongside a gospel setting of This Little Light of Mine (in honor of MLK’s “I have a dream” speech), and award-winning composer Morten Lauridsen’s amazing work Lux Aeterna — a work when premiered just sixteen years ago showed that contemporary music can “speak directly to the heart.”
Our 90-member chorus welcomes all who love to explore music — join us for an engaging hour and half on Sunday or Tuesday evenings in Mead Chapel, 7-8:30 p.m. as we prepare for our annual Thanksgiving concert, slated for Sunday, Nov. 24.
Contact conductor Jeff Rehbach (email@example.com) with any questions!
The Middlebury College Community Chorus begins a brand new season with rehearsals at 7 p.m. in Mead Chapel this coming week. Join us on Tuesday, September 11, or Sunday, September 16. If you enjoy singing, and especially enjoy singing in harmony with others, consider joining students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members. Rehearsals offer insights to music, a break from the pressures of the week, smiles and good cheer. This fall’s Thanksgiving program includes a mix of delightful classical music by Schubert, soaring contemporary settings by Randall Thompson, Rene Clausen, and Ola Gjeilo, and a brand new upbeat choral arrangement of Carly Simon’s Let the River Run. More info at go/communitychorus.