Two chorus performances set for May
Willamette Master Chorus will present its spring concert, "Sacred Choral Music at the Abbey," which will be performed virtually at 3 p.m. Sundays, May 2 and May 16, at the Mount Angel Abbey.
The performances can be viewed and heard online at www.willamettemasterchorus.org.
Chorus administrator Jessica Carpenter said pandemic safety protocols preclude the traditional choir production and gathering, but the musicians feel they can still capture some of the abbey's acoustic ambience.
"While the chorus cannot participate as a large group in this beautiful church, we were able to capture some incredible sounds in the beautiful acoustic at this beloved site," Carpenter said. "Our accompanist, Debra Huddleston, will accompany (the chorus) by prerecording on the great organ in the gallery and the choir loft's smaller organ."
Concert features include the Rev. Teresio Caldwell of Mount Angel playing "In dir ist Freude" (In Thee is Gladness) by Johann Sebastian Bach. The chorus will premiere a newly arranged spiritual by David Schmidt titled "The Morning Trumpet." The women of the chorus will perform "Laetatus Sum," which Carpenter describes as "a haunting composition by Sister Mary John Sevin ... based on Psalm 122."
Carpenter added that WMC founder and conductor, Wallace Long, returns to the chorus to direct the men in a rousing arrangement of "Rise Up, Ye Saints of God" by Kenneth Jennings. The concert ends with a jazz/gospel-style arrangement of "Amazing Grace," capping the WMC 2020-21 season.
"The Willamette Master Chorus thanks the many sponsors involved in making this year's spring concert and season possible," Carpenter said.
Those sponsors include Stephanie Thompson, Ralph Lindsay, The Compton Family Foundation, John and Jane Ross, the Gislason family in memory of Gary Gislason, Oregon Cultural Trust, Marion Cultural Development Corp., Reser Family Foundation, Roger and Jodee Midura, Cynthia McGladrey, Pat Love, Walt Farrier, Sean Shim, and Bob and Elaine McNitt.
WMC performances also can be enjoyed on YouTube.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.