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Madrigal Choir Premieres New Choral Work
November 30, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
An event every day that begins at 3:00 pm, repeating until December 1, 2019
Tradition and change are not incompatible. The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton’s annual “Lesson and Carols for Christmas” concert offers just the right balance of what is loved in the long-running tradition with a few new twists.
One new twist—or half twist, if you like—is the location of Saturday’s performance. The Sat. November 30 concert will take place at the First Presbyterian Union Church (90 North Ave.) in Owego at 4:00 pm, while the Sunday Dec. 1 performance remains at the Church of the Holy Trinity (346 Prospect Street) in Binghamton at 3:00 pm.
Premiering “Let the New Year In,” a work commissioned by the Madrigal Choir from Grammy award-winning British composer Philip Lawson, will be the most noteworthy new element in the concert. Artistic Director Bruce Borton admits, “This work certainly has some significant challenges but will be a wonderful new work, well worth whatever efforts it requires.”
Lawson’s musical achievements are many. Probably most notable are his over 200 published choral works, his 18 years singing baritone with the King’s Singers and the 50 pieces he arranged for that same group. He is presently Musical Director of the Romsey Singers and is on staff of the Vocal Departments of Wells Cathedral and the University of Bristol.
“One of my goals,” Borton reports, “since taking over the directorship of the Madrigal Choir has been to establish a regular choral commission series. Over the years, the choir has had the opportunity to commission and premiere several pieces, and it is always a thrilling but ‘scary’ prospect. The opportunity to encourage and foster the creation of new music is a privilege but also an intimidating challenge for an amateur ensemble. One never knows what the challenges of the piece will be until it arrives. To give the new piece a satisfactory performance is a serious responsibility.”
Another twist is a newer setting of “There Is No Rose” composed by then 23-year-old Connor Koppen in 2014. After decades of singing John Joubert’s 1954 composition, the choir trades it for this hauntingly beautiful rendition, melding lilting harmonies seamlessly with this traditional 15th century text.
Simple Gifts (Barbara Kaufman, recorder, and Paul Sweeny, guitar), organist Tim Smith, the processional “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” songs like “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People” and “The Three Kings,” and the hymns sung by choir and audience together remain a part of this perennially popular performance.
This concert is sponsored by Lourdes/Ascension.
Come witness the traditional and the new with the Madrigal Choir of Binghamton in celebration of “Lessons and Carols for Christmas.” Tickets for this concert can be purchased online at http://madrigalchoir.com and at the door or at https://madrigalchoirlandc.brownpapertickets.com They are $15 for adults and $5 for students with ID. Details and additional information are also available on the website.