Chester River Chorale Joins the Soldiers’ Chorus to Sing For Spring March 1

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Chorale oneThe acclaimed professionals of the Soldiers’ Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band will join the amateur singers of the Chester River Chorale to herald the banishment of winter at A Spring Sing with the Soldiers’ Chorus Friday evening March 1 at 8 p.m., and Sunday afternoon, March 3 at 3 p.m. Both performances will be in the beautiful sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown.

Singing with the 90-voice Chorale will be the 28-voices of the Soldiers’ Chorus, one of the nation’s finest choral groups, which has an unwavering mission: to connect the American people with its magnificent citizen-soldiers through the medium of music. The two choruses will sing together and separately in a program aimed at shaking off the doldrums of winter and welcoming the promise of spring.

The opening segment of the program will feature various compositions based on the Psalms, beginning with Gerald Finzi’s majestic 1951 anthem, God Is Gone Up, followed by Johannes Brahms’ serene How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place. The Soldiers’ Chorus will then join the Chorale for John Rutter’s The Lord is My Shepherd, and three Psalm settings by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart featuring a quartet of soldier-musician soloists.

Under the direction of Major Dwayne S. Milburn, the Soldiers’ Chorus, with organ accompaniment, will then offer Benjamin Britten’s festival cantata, Rejoice in the Lamb. Composed in 1943 in his native England at the height of World War II, this 18-minute work remains one of Britten’s most enduring choral works.

Chorale twoAs is the custom of the Chester River Chorale, the audience will have the opportunity to join in the music making. So bring your best voice to add yours to a glorious rendition of America the Beautiful and the ever-rousing Battle Hymn of the Republic.

“We are very privileged to collaborate with the Soldiers’ Chorus on this performance. Not only are these singers amazing musicians, but they also uphold the highest standards of military training and tradition,” said Douglas D. Cox, the Chorale’s artistic director since 2010, and himself a former member of the Soldiers’ Chorus.

“Like the Army they represent, their mission is worldwide,” Cox said, adding, “Local performances by the Soldiers’ Chorus are somewhat rare, and collaborations such as this with the Chorale are rarer still.”

Sam Marshall, a former accompanist for the Soldiers’ Chorus, will be featured on both piano and organ. Still an active service member, his appointment as a Field Band administrator has allowed him to join with Cox to create the music leadership team of the Chorale. Joining Marshall at the keyboards will be his successor, Staff Sergeant Darren Lael.

Soldier's ChorusNo tickets will be sold, although donations to support the Chorale will be gratefully accepted. The Chorale has been performing to full houses for the past several years, so patrons are urged to come at least 15 minutes early to be assured of being seated.

The Chester River Chorale is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization funded in part by the Kent County Arts Council and by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Hedgelawn Foundation, the Artistic Insights Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, and Yerkes Construction Co.

The Chorale’s Mission is to provide opportunity and inspiration for amateur singers to strive for artistic excellence and to enrich the cultural life of the community. For more information, visit www.chesterriverchorale.org or call 410–928-5566.

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