Choral Masterworks with Sir David Willcocks

Event time: 
Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 12:00pm
Event description: 


Concert of the Yale Camerata, Yale Schola Cantorum, and Yale Glee Club

Three Yale Choirs Present Choral Masterworks with Sir David Willcocks

Free and open to the public. Information at 203.432.5184

Sir David Willcocks, known as “the dean of British choral music,” will conduct the Yale Camerata, Yale Glee Club, and Yale Schola Cantorum in a concert of works by British composers. The culmination of the conductor’s weeklong residency at Yale, the concert will take place at 5 pm on Sunday, February 27 at Woolsey Hall in New Haven. The ensembles will perform separately, and will also join forces, accompanied by trumpets and drums, for Handel’s stirring Zadok the Priest, first performed in 1727 at the coronation of George II, and sung at every English coronation since.

Sir David has long been associated with the music of Benjamin Britten, and he will conduct the Yale Schola Cantorum, directed by Simon Carrington, in Britten’s miniature masterpiece for unaccompanied chamber choir, Hymn to St. Cecilia. Britten began this in 1940 in collaboration with W. H. Auden, when the poet and composer were both living in the US, and he completed it on a steamship on the way home to England in 1942. The first performance was given by the BBC Singers on November 22nd of that year – St. Cecilia’s Day, and also Britten’s birthday. The choir will also performRejoice in the Lord Alway by Henry Purcell.

Georg Frideric Handel’s Dixit Dominus was written in 1707 when the composer was serving as household musician to Francesco Ruspoli in Rome. Scored for strings, chorus, and solo voices, this brilliantly pictorial setting of Psalm 110 will be performed by the Yale Camerata. Marguerite Brooks is the Camerata’s founder and director.

The Yale Glee Club will offer Willcocks’s own recent Magnificat and Nunc dimittis settings, both of which are rarely performed here in the States, and New Haven audiences will enjoy this rare opportunity to hear them under the baton of the composer. The Glee Club, whose director is Jeffrey Douma, will also perform Parry’s rousing perennially popular anthem I Was Glad. All three will be accompanied by Thomas Murray on Woolsey’s Newberry Organ.

At the concert, Robert Blocker, the Lucy and Henry Moses Dean of Music, will present Sir David with the Sanford Medal, Yale School of Music’s highest award. It was established in honor of Samuel Simonds Sanford, the first professor of music performance at Yale, to recognize the highest levels of musical achievement.

Presented by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the Yale Glee Club with additional support from the Yale School of Music, the concert is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.