Choral Masterwork Concert Set For Friday

The Festival Choir of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will present its seventh annual Choral Masterwork concert on Friday at 8 p.m. The annual event is held each year on the Friday before Thanksgiving, and traditionally features a major choral work for a special evening performance. In past years, the choir has sung major choral compositions by Bach, Handel, Rutter, Schubert, and Mendelssohn.

This year’s presentation will feature the magnificent “Gloria” by the Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). Vivaldi’s music, considered a perfect example of the Italian Baroque style, influenced both Bach and Handel, yet it has a certain lightness that sets it apart. As the musicologist David Crawford has said, “No trace of anguish can be found in music like this. Even in the face of hardship, the ethos of playful optimism remains.”

St. Luke’s Festival Choir is made up of regular choristers from St. Luke’s with the addition of several guest vocalists from the local community. For the first time the concert will feature a Guest Conductor, Mike Nichols, a friend of Schmidt who studied choral conducting at Fredonia State College. Soloist for the evening will include Marika Koch, Catherine Way, Anne Ecklund and Ruth Yancey-Walton.

Schmidt is pleased to present this particular musical selection this year, as it is an encore performance for the choir.

“Gloria” is a work which I feel very sentimental about because it is the piece which our choir performed in our very first big choral concert back in 2011.” Schmidt says. “At the request of several of our vocalists, I have decided to repeat this beautiful and uplifting work for this year’s concert.”

The concert will be held at St. Luke’s, 410 N. Main St., corner of Fourth and Main streets in Jamestown. Admission is free and there will be a short reception following the performance in the church’s newly refurbished undercroft. For more information, please call the church office at 483-6405.