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BlueWater Chamber Orchestra and Cleveland Chamber Choir Collaborate in “Vocal Verve”

May 19, 2018 7:30PM to 8:45PM

BlueWater Chamber Orchestra and Cleveland Chamber Choir finish up their respective 2017-18 seasons with a collaborative concert entitled “Vocal Verve.” The festive Ascension Oratorio of J.S. Bach will highlight the performance, which also includes the cantata Fern Hill by John Corigliano and the Ancient Airs and Dance, Suite 1 by Respighi. The program will be presented on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 7:30 PM at First Baptist Church, 3630 Fairmount Boulevard, Shaker Heights. , and Sunday, May 20, 2018, at 3 PM at Gamble Auditorium in the Kulas Musical Arts Building, 96 Front Street, on the camp Scott MacPherson, Artistic Director of Cleveland Chamber Choir, will conduct. Members of the choir will fulfill the soloist roles.
Cleveland Chamber Choir and BlueWater Chamber Orchestra first collaborated in June 2017 in the world premiere performance of the Emergent Universe Oratorio, written by Vermont composer Sam Guarnaccia. The Oratorio, conducted by Scott MacPherson, was presented at the Maltz Performing Arts Center as part of the 2017 World Union of Jesuit Alumni Congress. That project was put together by Mr. Guarnaccia and BlueWater Founding Artistic Director, the late Carlton R. Woods, and led to this current concert performance.
Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen (Laud to God in all his kingdoms), BWV 11, was written by Johann Sebastian Bach for the service of Ascension, and was first performed in Leipzig on May 19, 1735 (exactly 283 years before the Saturday evening concert!) The 11 movement work for chorus and orchestra contains both Biblical and poetic text and shifts between the joyous mood of the trumpets and chorus to the poignant emotion of the solo arias.
Noted Italian musicologist Ottorino Respighi wrote three suites of Ancient Airs and Dances for orchestra, all based upon original works for lute from the 16th and 17th centuries. Composed in 1917, Suite No. 1 is considered the best known of the three.
John Corigliano’s introspective cantata Fern Hill is set to a poem by Dylan Thomas. Written as a gift to his high school music teacher, Fern Hill has been compared in many ways to Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915. The orchestrations are almost identical, and the relationship between text and music is also very similar. Both are set to poems that look back to a simpler time in the narrator’s life. Corigliano even quotes a few musical themes by Barber in his work. Fern Hill was later used in the Dylan Thomas Trilogy written by Corigliano.
BlueWater Chamber Orchestra is a group of professional, local, world-class musicians committed to bringing a transformative musical experience directly into the neighborhoods of NE Ohio. Dedicated to engaging new and diverse audiences through high-level educational programming, community outreach, collaborative partnerships, and artistic excellence, BlueWater shares the luminous world of inspiring music in an inviting and accessible manner. Founded in 2010 under the creative leadership of the late Carlton R. Woods, BlueWater is in residence at The Breen Center for the Performing Arts at Saint Ignatius High School and also presents its series concerts at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights.
The Cleveland Chamber Choir was founded by Scott MacPherson, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies in the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University. Comprised of versatile professional singers, the ensemble presents its uncompromising artistry and excellence in a thought-provoking and widely-varied repertoire of choral music. Through innovative public performances and artistic collaborations, the Cleveland Chamber Choir gives voice to shared human experience, uplifting and engaging diverse audiences.  
Free parking is available. The halls is wheelchair accessible.
Tickets for the concert range from $10-50 and are now available online or by phone. To order tickets or to get more information, visit or call 440-781-6215.

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