PORT TOWNSEND — The Summertime Singers return for their eighth appearance at the Candlelight Concert Series on Thursday.
“By Special Request” will begin at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 609 Taylor St. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
Admission is by a suggested $10 donation. Children will be admitted free.
Refreshments will be served after the performance.
Summertime Singers includes singers from local church choirs, Community Chorus, RainShadow, and other music groups. Some of the 22 singers have been part of the group since the beginning and four are new this year.
Conducting the group are Colleen Johnson and Jonathan Stafford. Helen Lauritzen accompanies the choir.
Rutter’s “Requiem” and Kirchner’s “Behold New Joy,” are the two major works which will anchor Thursday’s program, pieces requested by the singers.
A poll of singers came back with answers like “anything by Rutter,” and “please do one of the Kirchner pieces” and, “Behold New Joy, for sure.”
There were other requests for individual favorites, but these two composers stood out as ones choir members wanted to sing.
From among the others suggested, the program includes two Brahms art songs, “Gloria” from the Missa Kenya by Basler, and “Flowers,” composed by local musician Karl Bach especially for the Summertime Singers.
Rounding out the program are informal pieces by the two featured composers. “Lord, Don’t Move the Mountain,” is one of Shawn Kirchner’s gospel pieces, and the “Banquet Fugue” is Rutter in sarcastic mode — not profound but funny.
Rutter’s “Requiem” is a setting of the text of the Latin Mass for the Dead, encompassing a wide range of emotions from deep sorrow to exultation.
The choir is supported in its performance by Maryann Tapiro on cello and percussionist Otto Smith on timpani.
Soloists are Linda Bach, Mary Munford, and Katherine Ottaway. Stafford will both conduct and play drums to accompany the Basler “Gloria.”
Kirchner’s “Behold New Joy” is a setting of four medieval hymns, done in Old German, English and Latin.
Said director Colleen Johnson: “This is so much easier the second time around. Not everyone knows these works, but some do, and the familiarity with the notes leaves us room for more sensitive interpretation, for polishing every note and phrase. Someone said that being in rehearsal is inspiring, and I have been moved to tears by the beauty.”
“This is exactly what we see in the Summertime Singers,” she said, “people who put in hours of preparation, who stretch themselves technically and emotionally to portray the pictures the composers want to communicate to the listeners, people who are willing to work hard to do the best performance possible.”
For more information, call 360-774-1644 or email [email protected]