Musical Associates is a select group of singers dedicated to bringing the finest in choral music to music lovers in the Susquehanna Valley. Under the direction of Artistic Director Emery DeWitt, the group was founded in 2003 and has come together each summer since then, preparing a program of music of very high quality, with a focus on works that are not often performed. Please join us for for our late summer concerts – Saturday, September 13 at Lancaster Church of the Brethren (as part of the Starlight Tea Concert Series) and Sunday, September 21, at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Lancaster (as part of their Fine Arts Series).
This year, we present a program titled Ave Maria, which explores music written in honor of the mother of Jesus, Saint Mary. A huge body of music has been written in veneration of Mary, and composers often reserved their very best inspirations for the task. Protestant churches no longer sing the Ave Maria text on a regular basis, so we decided to feature three settings of this text (by Arlen Clarke, Tomas Luis de Victoria, and Morten Lauridsen). The first half of the program will include other music written on Marian themes, and also Charles Villiers Stanford’s stunning Magnificat for double chorus.
The second half of our concert will feature music by a genuine American superstar among choral composers: Eric Whitacre, all utilizing the poetry of American poet e. e. cummings. I thank you God for most this amazing day will open the second half, one of Whitacre’s set titled Three Songs of Faith. Then, we’ll present one of Whitacre’s most recent choral cycles: The City and the Sea, setting several of cummings’ poems with a stunning, and stunningly difficult, piano accompaniment played by collaborative pianist Mary Ellen DeWitt.
We always end our concerts with a gentle gift to our beloved audience, to bless you and send you on your way. This year is no exception, as we close with Dan Forrest’s lovely Basque Lullaby.
Admission to our concerts is free, with a free-will offering taken. Please join us for a wonderful musical event!