Over 40 area singers will celebrate Songs of the British Isles when The Greenbrier Valley Chorale presents its spring concert on Sunday, May 3 at 3 p.m. at Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg. Under the direction of Barbara Wygal Lutz, and accompanied by Teresa Bryant on piano, the concert fuses the essence of the broad array of music of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.
Narrowing the music selections to an hour-long concert was not an easy task, according to Lutz. “There are so many songs – from the Renaissance to 21 st century jazz – stemming from the works of those composers and poets identified with the British Isles. We’ve tried to incorporate a song or two from each country and to offer a taste of the distinct musical expression characteristic of each culture.”
The Chorale will begin the afternoon with a contemplative motet by Thomas Tallis, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments.” The mood changes as the group joins in some raucous hand-clapping traditional Irish songs, “Tell My Ma” and “Mairi’s Wedding.” The women of the chorale will sing two contrasting songs from Northumbria, and the tenors and basses will sing a new, accompanied setting of the English folksong, “The Turtle Dove.” No concert would be complete without an arrangement of “Danny Boy,” and jazz versions of Shakespeare’s “Sigh No More Ladies” and “It Was a Lover and His Lass” will give the audience a delightful new way to hear the venerable bard’s poetry.
Guest artists to appear with the Chorale include hammer dulcimer player, Elizabeth Daigle and fiddler, Annie Stroud, and percussionist, Shane Velsor. And, Lutz promises, “more surprises” may be in store.
The program is presented with financial assistance through a Grant from the WV Division of Culture and History, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.
Tickets can be purchased online at greenbriervalleychorale.org or at the door where patrons may pay by cash or check.