Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society
  Vol. 43                                       ONLINE  ONLINE  ONLINE                                     January 2019     
Providing financial support   since 1999 for The Rockbridge Choral Society and The Rockbridge Youth Chorale

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January 2019    
Birthdays  in

Amedee-Ernest Chausson        1/20/1855

Etta James    1/25/1938

      Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber        1/29/17823

Mark Your Calendars

A European Odyssey -  
Chamber Singers,  
February 3, 2019, 3 PM,
Presbyterian Church

A Hallelujah! Handel! -  
Choral Society,  
with chamber orchestra and soloists, April 7, 2019, 7 PM, Lexington  
Presbyterian Church.   
Don't miss the Hallelujah Chorus!

Spring Concert -
Youth Chorale,  
April 23, 2019, 7 PM, Lexington  
Presbyterian Church


"Music is the space between the notes" - Claude Debussy
    O n February 3, 2019 the Rockbridge Chamber Singers will travel through Europe musically with composers from Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, and Italy with some old favorites and some new encounters.  Among these is a collection of three lyric-driven French songs known as "Trois Chansons" by Claude Debussy.  Arguably, Debussy changed the sound world of classical music forever in much the way that his contemporary, Monet, changed the art world.  Debussy was not a slave to the Wagner worship of his day.  He put forth his own musical aesthetic in fluid orchestral works like "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun", and a few lovely choral works.  His "Trois Chansons" have become icons in the classical choral music repertoire.  These songs are set to poem texts by Charles D'Orleans, the 15th century French Duke of Orleans, who was captured at the battle of Agincourt in 1415 and imprisoned in England for the next 24 years.  He was a prisoner of war to be sure, though as was true of many captives of royal descent, he lived quite well within his confines and wrote more than 500 poems while in England.  Upon his release, he joked that he spoke English better than French.   Listen here

And, Across the Channel... 
    Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer, teacher, conductor, and organist at Trinity College, Cambridge.  He was heavily influenced by Brahms and perhaps best known for his choral works for church performance, some of which are considered by singers as vocally demanding, massive anthems. "The Blue Bird", a choral setting of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge's poem, stands in stark contrast to much of Stanford's choral music.  The song reflects the poem's capture of a moment of light's reflection as a blue bird flies over a lake.  Much as the bird hovers over the lake, a soprano voice floats over a pool of the choir's homophonic sound underneath.  The soprano voice alternates between delivering full lines of poetry and punctuating the choral lines with one word - blue - which hangs over the ends of the choir's phrases like a lingering reflection, or, as at the end, an unfinished flight into the blue.  This lovely song is a perennial favorite with our chamber singers and they will offer it once again as their musical European odyssey crosses the channel between the British Isles and the Continent and back again. Listen here.
One Fun Thing -
Queen of Rock
    Awards season is here for movies and television.  Since a surprise Golden Globe win last week for Best Motion Picture Drama, the campaign is on to get "Bohemian Rhapsody", the Queen bio-pic, back in theatres ahead of Oscar nominations later this month.  Since the US release of the movie in November, 2018, it hasn't exactly rung bells with critics, but, as is often the case, it's a hit with movie-goers.  So on 1/11/19, 20th Century Fox will re-release the film as a sing-along in more than 750 theaters in North America giving Queen fans the chance to sing "We Are the Champions" and other hits with the on-screen band and Rami Malek, who portrays front-man Freddie Mercury, at a theatre near you. 
Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society
Rockbridge Choral Society
P.O. Box 965
Lexington, VA 24450