WAYNE, PA — The Wayne Oratorio Society announced it will present its Spring 2023 concert with two masses, written nearly 200 years apart, at the Wayne Presbyterian Church, Lancaster & North Wayne Avenues, Wayne, Pa. The performances at 7:30 PM on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23 will feature Ludwig van Beethovan’s Mass in C, written in 1807, and Will Todd’s Mass in Blue, composed in 2003.
John Grecia, interim Director of Music for the Wayne Oratorio Society, will conduct the 100 singers of the chorus, 45-piece orchestra, and, for the Todd work, soprano soloist Melanie Sarakatsannis and a jazz combo. “The two works, both based on the Mass Ordinary format, are examples of how time, culture, and evolving musical expression can inspire composers to create outstanding works, both timeless and contemporary,” Grecia says.
Leading off the program will be the Mass in C, an early work for the church composed by Beethoven between his Fourth and Fifth Symphonies. Commissioned by his patron Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy II, and heralded by music critics of the day as “revolutionary,” its themes represent both the Classical era and the developing Romantic period.
British composer Will Todd infused his work, Mass in Blue, with choral singing using the traditional four sections WOS—soprano, alto, tenor and bass—and the rhythms and style of legendary female jazz vocalists along with counterpoint supplied by a jazz combo.
“Both works in the program demonstrate how two very different and musical settings can be interpreted by the performers and appreciated and enjoyed by our audience,” Grecia says.
The concert is open to the public, with a free-will offering. Doors open at 6:30 PM.
Parking, and travel via SEPTA, or by car
Wayne Presbyterian Church is located in downtown Wayne at 125 East Lancaster Avenue, at the northeast corner of Lancaster and North Wayne Avenues. The church is adjacent to the SEPTA Wayne station, with free surface parking in the surrounding SEPTA-designated areas. There is an entrance to the Church from the parking areas, located behind the Church, off North Wayne Avenue, or from the front of the Church entrance on Lancaster Avenue.
For further information and to hear previous performances by the Wayne Oratorio Society, visit www.waynepres.org; https://www.youtube.com/c/WaynePresbyterianChurch; https://wayneoratoriosociety.bandcamp.com/.
For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.