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GraceMusic presents St. John Passion
March 26, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Brandon Beachamp conducts the Grace Church Choir, orchestra, and soloists in this contemporary, yet classical, setting of the Passion story. Originally written for the Choir of Wells Cathedral (UK), Chilcott’s Passion is modeled after the great settings by J. S. Bach. The hour-long performance features David Vanderwal (St. Thomas Church, Fifth Ave., NYC) as the Evangelist and Peter Walker (St. Luke in the Fields, NYC) as Jesus. As in Bach’s Passions, the role of the choir is to play the part of the crowd or a group of soldiers within the narrative. The choir also sings four meditations that offer reflection throughout the Passion. In the way that Bach used chorales to include his listening audience in the performance, Chilcott wrote five original hymns to familiar texts.
Written and first performed in 2013, Chilcott’s Passion made its US debut in 2015 but remains a relatively underperformed work. Chilcott tells the drama and richness of the Passion story in a direct, but sensitive, manner. His use of English poetry from the 13th to early 17th centuries in the choral meditations express deeply human responses to death, life, and our relationship to the world and with God. Whether the listener approaches this piece from a musical or liturgical perspective, this Hudson Valley (if not New York) premier of Bob Chilcott’s St. John Passion is sure to connect with the audience in a deeply moving and personal way.
Tickets to the St. John Passion are available online here and at the door: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $5 students; children 12 and under are free.