Musicians to Collaborate for Premiere
NORTHAMPTON, Ma.—The American
premiere of a long-lost work by eminent British composer
Ralph Vaughan Williams will be presented at Smith on Sunday,
Jan. 22, with several Smith music faculty and alumnae among
Ralph Vaughan Williams
The Hampshire Choral Society,
led by Allan Taylor (who earned his master’s degree
at Smith), has the privilege of being the first in the United States to present
Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Cambridge
Mass on January 22, at 3 p.m. in John M.
Greene Hall. (If postponed due to weather, the concert will take place the following
Sunday, Jan. 29, at the same time and place.)
The concert will showcase the
depth of musical talent in Western Massachusetts. The orchestra
will include three Smith current and retired music department
faculty members: Jonathan Hirsh, Sarah Briggs, and Janet
van Blerkom. Soloists are Louise Fauteaux (soprano),
Mary Brown Bonacci (mezzo soprano), Marc Winer (tenor), and
Peter W. Shea (baritone).
This long-lost work, composed
by the young Vaughan Williams for his doctoral degree in
music, remained in the Cambridge University Library for
over 110 years, never published or performed. It was rediscovered
and brought to publication by the conductor and musicologist
Alan Tongue. Maestro Tongue conducted the world premiere
of A Cambridge Mass at Fairfield Hall, Croydon, UK on March
3, 2011, and will be the guest conductor for the American
Maestro Tongue’s friendship
with one of the Hampshire Choral Society’s sopranos, Dorothy
Morse, and her husband, Tony, of Pelham, led to this tremendous
opportunity to premiere a new work by a major composer.
Choral Society Music Director Allan Taylor will conduct music
for strings by the British composers Elgar, Britten and Holst
to open the program, and he will perform as organist for
A Cambridge Mass.
Considered among the composer’s most ambitious
works, A Cambridge Mass will be performed by four soloists,
an eight-part chorus of 145 singers, and a 42-piece orchestra.
This concert is expected to draw national attention.
are $30 for preferred seating (available only if purchased
before the day of the concert); $20, general admission; $15,
students and seniors. Advance ticket purchases will be accepted
through Friday, January 20, online at ,
with payment by check or cash presented the day of the concert
(credit cards not accepted). Tickets will also be on sale
in advance at Broadside Bookstore and State Street Fruit
Store in Northampton; at Coopers Corner, Florence; and at
A.J. Hastings in Amherst. Tickets will be sold at the door
the day of the concert.
Founded 59 years ago, the Hampshire
Choral Society is a 145-voice amateur choir that rehearses
in Northampton and performs in Hampshire County. The largest
New England chorus outside of Boston, it is a community organization
whose members are a mix of experience levels and ages 18
to over 80.
Allan Taylor has been the music director of the Hampshire Choral Society
for 10 years. During his tenure, he has conducted an eclectic
mix of well-known and seldom-heard compositions from the
choral repertoire, including works by Bach, Mozart, Handel,
Haydn, Bruckner, Poulenc, Mendelssohn, Duruflé,
Since he became director in
2001, the Hampshire Choral Society has expanded in size to
become the largest New England chorus outside of Boston.
He earned the BA degree in classics at Trinity College, Hartford,
where he studied organ with eminent recitalist Clarence Watters.
He earned the Master of Arts degree in music at Smith College
where he held the Early Music Fellowship and studied harpsichord
with Lori Wallfisch. Mr. Taylor is an assistant professor
at Westfield State University, teaching music theory, conducting,
music history, and directing the Festival Chorus and the
Alan Tongue is
a freelance conductor working in Romania, Hungary, Czech
Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
His teachers included Celibidache, one of the 20th century’s
great conductors, Robert Shaw, and Thurston Dart. Mr. Tongue
has been chief conductor of Northern Sinfonietta, the Northern
Ireland Symphony, and Studio Symphony Orchestra. He was a
producer and staff conductor of the BBC NI Orchestra. He
won the Novello Award in Edinburgh in 1991 for outstanding
interpretation and a genuine understanding of new music in
the general repertoire.