Notice about the 2020 Summer Sings and the 2020-2021 Season
To our beloved Masterworks Chorale community,
We sincerely hope you are all healthy and well in these difficult times and still finding ways to connect with each other through our shared love of music. We wanted to reach out to you at this time with an update on our current situation.
Masterworks Chorale considered very carefully whether to suspend our fifty-year tradition of community Summer Sings during this period of COVID-19. It was with sadness that we cancelled all six of them this year. We know without a doubt that many of you will miss the sings, as we will. However, Masterworks Chorale’s Summer Sings will return, and we are looking forward to singing with each of you when it is safe to do so. What a joyful evening that will be!
We continue to learn all we can about whether we will be able to offer our usual three-performance series next season: November and May concerts at Sanders Theatre and a February concert at Old South Church. At this time, we are planning for all possible contingencies for 2020–2021. Stay tuned for details!
This is a difficult time for all arts organizations, and we hope that we can count on your support when we return. There will come a time when live performances will once again be in great demand, and we will be there for you, stronger and better than ever.
Paula Eldridge & Rebecca Lightcap
Co-Presidents, Masterworks Chorale
From our Music Director
Dear friends of the Masterworks Chorale,
We miss you! I hope you are all very safe and well. Were it not for the pandemic, I would be writing to you about our triumphant performance of Beethoven’s Missa solemnis on May 16th in Sanders Theatre. I am imagining the moments after the final D-major chord. Silence. And then enthusiastic applause. I am asking our world-class soloists—Amanda Forsythe, Renée Tatum, Matthew Anderson, and Dana Whiteside—to bow. I am acknowledging the thirty-eight players of our incredible orchestra—especially our concertmaster, Heidi Braun-Hill, for her beautiful solo at the beginning of the Benedictus. I am turning to all the members of the Chorale, grateful for all their hard work and heartfelt singing. So many smiles and so much joy. It would have been a marvelous eightieth anniversary party.
Even if I can’t do that, I can still recognize some very important people. I would like to thank our new accompanist John Sullivan for all his amazing talents, goodwill, and knowledge. We are lucky to be working with him. I would like to thank our copresidents Paula Eldridge and Rebecca Lightcap and the rest of our wonderful board. You may not know how hard they are always working to make our organization better and better. Finally, I would like to thank all of you for being a part of our abbreviated season. We have beautiful memories of our fall Vivaldi and winter Bloch concerts, and they would not have been complete without you.
I can feel how much we all love Masterworks. I can feel it in your tremendous generosity and loyalty. I can feel it in the Chorale’s singing each and every rehearsal, call, and concert. I can feel it even though, or perhaps especially because, we had to stop rehearsing the Missa solemnis in mid-March.
Have you ever wondered why composers like to set masses? The structure of the mass text features short and long range repetition that supports musical symmetry and unification, while the many poetic images provide endless inspiration for vivid musical contrast. In balancing unity and diversity, a composer can write a work encompassing a whole universe of moods while maintaining artistic coherence. Beethoven, probably more than any other composer, was a master of expressive musical contrast. I invite you to sit down with a score and a recording of the Missa solemnis and have a listen. (You can download a vocal score that is in the public domain here and find the texts and translations here.)
I am looking forward to our first rehearsal after the pandemic, when the Chorale can gather again to sing with each other. We all miss it very much. And I am looking forward to the glorious day when we finally perform Beethoven’s sublime Missa solemnis in Sanders Theatre for you, our Masterworks Chorale family.
Sending you our very best wishes,
Music Director, Masterworks Chorale