Choral Arts Society Holding Auditions for its 42nd Season

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Easton Choral Arts Society is holding auditions for its upcoming season.

If you have a great desire: to sing… to improve your singing quality… to learn new techniques and compositions…  to share your voice with others… and to enjoy the thrill of entertaining…consider becoming a member of Easton Choral Arts Society!

Comprised of members throughout the Delmarva region, the choral society performs a variety of music ranging from classical compositions to works by living composers. Auditions are scheduled by appointment, and interested singers may contact ECAS through the website EastonChoralArts.org or by email at eastonchoralarts@gmail.com. Rehearsals are held Tuesday evenings 7:00 to 9:00, at Christ Church in Easton beginning late August.

The Easton Choral Arts Society, under the baton of Wes Lockfaw, announces its offerings for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.

Look for a surprising and thrilling concert season as the Society presents a wide span of choral works from a rich array of music, spanning several hundred years up to present times. Inaugurating the new season, Easton Choral Arts will present “A Singable Feast”. From appetizers and ale to cakes and coffee, this concert will leave you hungry, with songs about food from the classics, Broadway and jazz. Featured will be the hilarious PDQ Bach work, “The Seasonings,” written by Peter Schickele and accompanied by an unusual group of instruments. It’s a tongue-in-cheek take-off on Haydn’s oratorio “The Seasons”. Jacque Offenbach’s, “The Recipe” may entice you to bake a cake, while “Coffee in a Cardboard Cup” by the composers of Cabaret will tickle your funny bone.

For the Christmas season, the chorus will perform “A Candlelight Christmas”. The beautiful music of Christmas and winter presented in a candlelit setting will jump-start the holiday season for you. A brass quintet will join Easton Choral Arts for Daniel Pinkham’s exciting Christmas Cantata. An arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” as performed by Boston’s Christmas Revels and more favorites of the season will fill out the program.

Tracing the footsteps of Vienna’s world renown musical heritage, the spring concert will feature the chorus performing music from “The Four Gems of Vienna”, composers Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and Schubert, all of whom did the bulk of their composing in Vienna. The concert will feature vibrant solos, piano and orchestral numbers and of course stirring choruses from such works as Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, Haydn’s The Creation, Beethoven’s The Mount of Olives, Schubert’s The Omnipotence and more.

Easton Choral Arts is under the direction of Wes Lockfaw, who is also music director at Christ Church in Easton. Mr. Lockfaw, whose choirs were featured in 2014 at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Va., is also director of the Christ Church Concert Series and the Dean of the Mid-Shore Maryland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

The Easton Choral Arts Society is supported by grants from the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the Talbot County Arts Council, and the Maryland State Arts Council.

Love is in the Air at Easton Choral Arts Society Spring Concerts

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On Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, April 28 at 4:00 p.m. at Christ Church Easton. The spring program, “Songs from the Heart,” will include the 21st-century choral piece, “For A Breath of Ecstasy” by Michael John Trotta, as well as an array of popular love songs. “For A Breath of Ecstasy” is a seven-movement work for chorus, strings, and oboe that is based on poetry by Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Sara Teasdale. Her poems reflect a woman grateful for the affection she has received. The work, using lyrics from poet Sara Teasdale’s anthology Love Songs, was commissioned in 2017 by Northwestern State University to celebrate the centennial of Teasdale winning the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1918. Accompanied by piano, oboe, and strings, Trotta’s music represents, in his words, “moments of yearning, love, joy, and peace in the contemplation of love and nature.” Fueled by a passion to share new music that engages conductors, ensembles, and audiences alike, Michael John Trotta (b.1978) is fast becoming one of the most “exciting and prominent new composers of choral music.”

To complete the program, Easton Choral Arts Society will sing beautiful and clever arrangements of songs about the different aspects of love. Come hear music from Broadway musicals, movies, jazz and popular music, such as “Till There Was You” from The Music Man, “Unchained Melody” featured in the movie Ghost, Leroy Anderson’s “Blue Tango” and more.

Maestro Wes Lockfaw, who directs the chorus, states, “This concert, featuring a choral work by the extraordinary composer Michael John Trotta, is sure to please audiences. His musical interpretations give breadth and depth to the written word. The lyrical verses of Teasdale’s poetry prompted him to create equally lyrical musical responses. The rest of our concert builds on these beguiling love songs.”

Christ Church Easton is located at 111 South Harrison Street in Easton, MD. Easton Choral Arts Society, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization funded in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. Tickets will be $30 at the door and are available online in advance at $25 at www.eastonchoralarts.org or at Ticket Hotline 410-200-0498.  Students will be admitted free (reservation required). Seating is limited, so advance ticket purchases are recommended.

ECAS was founded in 1977 by organist Florence Ruley of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, a group of caring singers was organized to commemorate the installation of a new bishop. The experience was so rewarding that they continued with the idea of singing two to three concerts a year. As public appreciation and awareness of the Easton Choral Arts Society were growing within the community. Its presence was marked by a new and thoughtful broadening of the repertoire, featuring guest soloists, and professional instrumentalists.

In 2010, Wes Lockfaw became Easton Choral Arts Society’s fifth Artistic Director. A very talented and accomplished organist, pianist, and choral director, Wes has led music ministries in seven states as well as having served as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and piano instructor in a college environment. In January of 2009, he accepted the position of Organist and Music Director at Christ Church Episcopal in Easton, Maryland where he directs ensembles ranging from children to adults.

Thanks to community support, Easton Choral Arts is keeping the spirit of its mission alive — to bring great choral masterworks programs to audiences of all ages on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 

Easton Choral Arts to Perform “Music for Royal Occasions”

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The Easton Choral Arts Society, under the direction of Maestro Wes Lockfaw, will open its 41st concert season with Music from Royal Occasions, on Friday, October 19, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 21, 4 p.m. at Christ Church, Easton. The concert features an exciting collection of pieces written for coronations, weddings, funerals and other royal celebrations during the past five centuries.

Publicity surrounding the royal family this year was intense, due to several major royal occasions in 2018. The Queen, 91, celebrated the 65th anniversary of her coronation. Prince Charles marked his 70th birthday. HRH, future king, Prince George has observed his fifth birthday. Prince Harry’s wedding was a world-wide event, and the royal family welcomed two new babies.

Mr. Lockfaw has chosen a varied selection of songs. Birthday Song For A Royal Child is a poem composed by C. Day-Lewis in honor of the birth of Prince Andrew on 19 February 1960, and set to music by Sir Arthur Bliss, Master of The Queen’s Music. O Hearken Thou was written by Edward Elgar for chorus and orchestra, for the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary and was completed in March 1911. Ubi Caritas was included in the ceremony at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Paul Mealor’s version of this hymn translates to “Where charity and love are, God is there.” Zadok The Priest is a British anthem composed by George Frideric Handel for the coronation of King George II in 1727. The chorus will also sing John Rutter’s stunning anthem This is the Day, one of the highlights of the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William.

The chorus’ Christmas concert will follow on December 7 and December 9 with Saint-Saëns’ lyrical Christmas Oratorio, along with seasonal favorites. This performance will also be sung at Christ Church Easton.

As the archives tell the story, there has been great joy and challenge in presenting beautiful music through the years. Easton Choral Arts has sung a wide variety of glorious music, represented by selections from many different eras, styles and composers. The society has brought musical joy and beauty to our community since 1977, and it continues this tradition into a new season with three remarkable programs.

Season Tickets are available at a discount and individual tickets are $25 and are available at www.eastonchoralarts.org or our Ticket Hotline 410-200-0498.  Students will be admitted free (reservation required). Tickets will be $30 at the door. Seating is limited, so advance ticket purchases are recommended.

ECAS was founded in 1977 by organist Florence Ruley of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, a group of caring singers was organized to commemorate the installation of a new bishop. The experience was so rewarding that they continued with the idea of singing two to three concerts a year. As public appreciation and awareness of the Easton Choral Arts Society was growing within the community. Its presence was marked by a new and thoughtful broadening of the repertoire, featuring guest soloists, and professional instrumentalists.

In 2010, Wes Lockfaw became Easton Choral Arts Society’s fifth Artistic Director. A very talented and accomplished organist, pianist, and choral director, Wes has led music ministries in seven states as well as having served as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and piano instructor in a college environment. In January of 2009, he accepted the position of Organist and Music Director at Christ Church Episcopal in Easton, Maryland where he directs ensembles ranging from children to adults.

Thanks to community support, Easton Choral Arts is keeping the spirit of its mission alive — to bring great choral masterworks programs to audiences of all ages on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Easton Choral Arts Society, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization funded in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

Easton Choral Arts Society Announces 37th Concert Season

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The Easton Choral Arts Society has announced is upcoming 37th concert season. Under the direction of Artistic Director, Wes Lockfaw, the chorus will present a musically diverse season beginning with its fall concert taking place on October 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. respectively. The initial concert entitled “In the Mood: Sounds of the Big Band Era” will feature the chorus and an 18-piece big band performing hits including Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade, In the Mood, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Tuxedo Junction, Ain’t Misbehavin, Mack the Knife, and even a visit from modern day Andrews sisters in Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. On December 6 and 7, ECAS will present two performances of its holiday extravaganza, “A Christmas to Remember,” before concluding its season with two performances of “A Night at the Opera” in April next year.

For the second consecutive year, ECAS offers a choral scholars program for high school and college-age students. In order to foster musical development and a love for choral music, Easton Choral Arts Society is offering three scholar positions to students throughout the eastern shore by audition. If chosen, applicants will be given a $1,000 stipend for the concert season ($500 per semester) and will have the opportunity to perform a fine and diverse repertoire of choral literature. Interested students should contact eastonchoralarts@gmail.com.

The Easton Choral Arts Society also invites singers of all parts to become involved by contacting the organization at eastonchoralarts@gmail.com. Rehearsals are held each Tuesday evening from 7:00 until 9:00 p.m. in the parish hall at Christ Church, 111 S. Harrison Street in Easton beginning in September.

For details regarding tickets to events or to become involved in ECAS, visit our website www.eastonchoralarts.org. Easton Choral Arts Society is funded in part by the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.

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