Mohawk Valley chorus to present works of Welsh composer Jenkins

AMSTERDAM — The Mohawk Valley Chorus, directed by David M. Rossi, is presenting Welsh composer Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” at its annual classics concert in March.

The concert will be held on Sunday, March 15, at 3 p.m. at United Presbyterian Church, 25 Church St. The event will open with a performance by the Mohawk Valley Chamber Ensembles, directed by Stephanie M. Boice.

Originally commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum in England for the Millennium celebrations in 2000, Sir Karl Jenkins dedicated “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” to the victims of the Kosovo conflict. It uses the traditional Catholic Mass as a framework combined with other sources, most notably the 15th-century folk song L’homme arm (”The Armed Man”), as well as the Islamic Call to Prayer, the Mahabharata and the Old Testament of the Bible.

Soprano Cynthia Donaldson, artist-in-residence at Hartwick College, will be the soloist. Accompanists include Alfred V. Fedak (organ), Bradley Gregg (piano) and a select chamber orchestra of regional musicians.

The Mohawk Valley Chamber Ensembles, comprised of middle- and high-school band students from several area school districts as well as adult musicians, will kick off the program with small ensemble performances followed by a combined ensemble performance. Selections will include Ennio Morricone’s “A Fistful of Dollars,” the traditional folk song “Shenandoah,” and the original work “Alvah,” composed by MVCE member Michaela Staie.

Now in its 84nd season, the Mohawk Valley Chorus is a community organization has 70 singers from six counties — Albany, Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Saratoga and Schenectady —in its main chorus. Rossi is the director, and Gregg is accompanist. Other performing groups include the MVCE, under Boice’s direction, as well as two youth choral groups: The MVC Kids, directed by Theresa Jackson, and the MVC Youth Chorale, directed by Giovanna Savoie. For more information, visit the organization’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mohawkvalleychorus or email MohawkValleyChorusinf[email protected]

Tickets for the concert are $15 for general admission and $12 for senior citizens and students. Children, 12 and younger, are free. The tickets are available, in advance, from chorus members and at the door. Doors will open 30 minutes before the performance.

By Josh Bovee

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