“Music instills sense of joy” – Elizabeth S.
“Music is powerful stuff…it does all kinds of beautiful and amazing things to the brain and the heart. – Jessica T.
GVOC’s programs are resonating with people and we are looking forward to sharing our “Forty and Forward” program with you. Our program is diverse and promises to be one of the most innovative for Rochester audiences in the coming year.
We start in December with “Classical for a Cause: Handel’s Messiah in Context”. For this concert, we will perform portions of the Messiah, the Anthem for the Foundling Hospital and select other pieces. What’s the cause you may ask? Handel’s “Messiah” is one of the most popular compositions in the history of music, as every year in every city there is never a lack of performances by both professional and amateur organizations. What is little known though is that the oratorio received mixed reviews and only moderate success after its first performances in Dublin and London in the 1740’s. If it were not for a charity event, Handel’s masterpiece could very well have disappeared into obscurity instead of becoming a staple of Christmas season listening. In 1750, Coram collaborated with visual artist William Hogarth to bring London’s elite into the hospital to hear and see Handel conduct “Messiah”, along with Handel’s “Anthem for the Foundling Hospital”. The event was so successful that another performance was scheduled two weeks later, and “Messiah” was performed in the Foundling Hospital annually until the 1770’s, and Handel’s involvement from the first benefit concert to his death in 1759 raised the modern-day equivalent of over a million dollars for the orphanage. GVOC honors the oratorio’s connection to charity by performing the first part of “Messiah” along with “Anthem for the Foundling Hospital”, a lovely work for soloists and chorus that concludes with a famous chorus borrowed from “Messiah:” “Hallelujah!”
Our annual dinner concert and silent auction will be held at the beautiful and historic Harro East Ballroom this year and the audience will be invited to so come “Rock around the Clock Tonight” with GVOC and our celebration of rock n’ roll hits! A cocktail hour begins the evening, followed by dinner and then Rock n’ Roll favorites arranged for chorus and orchestra. We’ll be getting to the “heart of Rock and Roll” (Huey Lewis) by doing the “Jailhouse Rock” (Elvis Presley) and by shouting “Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!” (Jerry Lee Lewis). Come also to support GVOC at our most important fundraiser of our year by donating to and participating in our silent auction. Only with the support of our friends can we perform for you more hits on this program by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, and Bruce Springsteen.
We conclude the season with “Forty and Forward”, which celebrates the past and the future. We celebrate forty years of bringing people together through great art, and we look toward a bright future for community music-making by presenting traditional favorites, contemporary compositions, and a new work commissioned for GVOC’s 40th year. Just as music-making connects our members to each other and to our audience members, all selections on the program celebrate an interconnectedness of ancient and modern — perhaps eternal — music-making. The program opens with a celebration of 40 in Thomas Tallis’ motet for 40 voices, “Spem in alium.” Arvo Pärt’s “Annum per Annum” combines Medieval and contemporary techniques to honor a cathedral’s 900 years of ritual. Pärt’s 2003 work for full orchestra and chorus, “In Principio” explores the mystery of Creation in the composer’s trademark style of “spiritual minimalism.” GVOC’s first-ever commission is being written by Jennifor Bellor to honor our founder, Sister Virginia Hogan, through the verse and melody of Hildegard Von Bingen. Its title is borrowed from the name of a planetoid in our solar system, 898 Hildegard, thus connecting civilization’s ancient cosmos with the one that it continues to discover. Some of the most beautiful, romantic music by Mahler and Elgar appear on the program, but in new forms for voices instead of instruments. Their texts celebrate light, and Sir John Tavener’s “The Eternal Sun” sings of our cosmic sun as a mere reflection of a greater, divine sun. Ola Gjeilo’s “Luminous Night of the Soul” closes out the program with an ode to the divine soul in all of us that eternally inspires our great art.
Truly unique programming for our 40th season. Season subscriptions available now through this link.
We hope to see you there.
President, GVOC Board of Directors