Bach on the Rock concert shares diverse voices

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Bach on the Rock chamber orchestra and choir is closing its season with a concert that celebrates works by female and BIPOC composers who were united by their exploration of the divine.

Pippa Andrew is the group’s guest artistic director who assembled the program called Diverse Voices for Divine Celebration for the Saturday, June 18, 7 p.m. concert at Fulford Hall.

The concert includes the first movement of Novelletten Op. 52 for small orchestra by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who was a prolific and esteemed English BIPOC composer who died at the age of 37 in 1912.

Florence Price was the first American BIPOC woman to have her music performed by a major orchestra when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiered her Symphony in E minor in 1933. BOTR will play the Elaine Fine small orchestra arrangement of Adoration, which was originally composed as a devotional for organ.

The Golden Harp, described by BOTR as “a sublime and transcendent musical work for soloists, choir and orchestra” by American composer Gwyneth Walker is also on the program.

Vocal works by Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704), an Italian Ursuline nun, and one of the most prolific female composers of the 17th century, and by Italian composer and nun Bianca Maria Meda (c.1665-1700) will be performed.

The program will close with Antonio Vivaldi’s beautiful Gloria RV. 589.

“There is significant historical evidence this work was written for performance by the all-female voice choir of Ospedale della Pietà, a prestigious Venetian charitable institution for abandoned girls, where Vivaldi (1678-1741) taught for the majority of his professional career,” states BOTR. “Since its rediscovery in 1926, Gloria RV. 589 has become one of the most loved and regularly performed works of divine celebration in current repertory.”

The concert’s vocal soloists are Gwen Jamieson, soprano; Alana Hayes, mezzo-soprano; and Louis Dillon, baritone.

Andrew is a music teacher, composer, choral and chamber group director originally from the U.K., who now lives in West Vancouver.

Tickets ($25) for the June 18 show are available at bachontherock.com or at the door.

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