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Masterworks Chorale of Carroll County Fall Concert: Here I Sing – Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

Sunday, November 19, 2017, 3pm
(Big) Baker Memorial Chapel, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD

Few movements have so profoundly shaped the western world as The Reformation, sparked 500 years ago when a Roman Catholic priest named Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg Castle Church. Luther’s call for reforms in the church, emphasizing Scripture and the faith of the individual believer, led to tremendous geopolitical upheaval throughout Europe and forever changed the continent’s theological landscape. This fall, Masterworks Chorale offers a musical commemoration of this event featuring music by Luther himself, J.S. Bach, and Michael Praetorius.

Luther was an avid musician, once writing that, “Next to the word of God, nothing is so priceless and worthy of glory and praise as music.” Perhaps no hymn is as iconic to the Reformation as Luther’s own A Mighty Fortress. Several settings of this hymn will be featured in the concert along with a Luther motet based on Psalm 118:17: “I shall not die, but live and proclaim the works of the Lord.”

Michael Praetorius was an enthusiastic follower of Luther, composing several new works for Dresden’s 100th anniversary celebration of the Reformation in 1617, just before the outbreak of the devastating 30 Years’ War. The Chorale will sing select pieces from Praetorius’ collection Polyhymnia caduceatrix et panegyrica – optimistically subtitled Songs of Peace and Rejoicing. The choir will end the concert with another work from the 1617 Dresden celebration, the Gloria from Praetorius’s German Mass, with coloratura cornetti parts adding true splendor to the closing Amen.

This commemorative concert will be a tour de force of unprecedented scale for the Chorale, involving collaboration with multiple choirs and the Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble. This quincentenary of the Reformation auspiciously coincides with the 150th anniversary of McDaniel College (formerly known as Western Maryland College), for which the hymn A Mighty Fortress holds great significance. This hymn was sung during the processional for all major ceremonial events at the college from 1894-1973. We are honored to include the McDaniel College Choir in this year’s concert as well as the Frostburg State University Choir under the direction of McDaniel alumnus, Dr. James Redden (‘99). The Children’s Chorus of Carroll County and the choir of the Westminster United Methodist Church will also take part, along with members of numerous other local choirs who will join in the chorales from the audience.

For tickets & information, please visit the MCCC website, Ticketleap, or call the information line: 410-871-3371. Tickets are also available from any Chorale member or at the Carroll Arts Center. Admission is $10 in advance; $12 at the door. Children and all students with proper ID are admitted free.

Masterworks Chorale of Carroll County (MCCC) is a non-profit, all volunteer adult chorus dedicated to sharing choral music of the highest caliber with the community. The group has featured masterpieces from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary eras and compositions by legendary composers including: Bach, Mendelssohn, Bernstein, Rutter, and many others. MCCC has performed in collaboration with groups such as the McDaniel College Choir, Children’s Chorus of Carroll County, Maryland State Boychoir, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Society for Early Music, the Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, and more. MCCC invites new choir members of all voice ranges to join us. For more details, visit the MCCC website or call 410-871-3371. MCCC is funded in part by an Operating Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and a Community Arts Development Grant from the Carroll County Arts Council.

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