The Berks Youth Chorus will present “Hear My Voice,” on Sunday, May 5, at 4 p.m., at Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing.
The Berks Youth Chorus 27th annual spring concert will feature singers in three levels of choirs, Training Chorus, Chorale, and MasterSingers, with special guests from Opus One: Berks Chamber Choir. Grove Dental Group is the concert sponsor. A grant from the Gertrude Sternbergh Fund of Reading Musical Foundation is underwriting costs for concert musicians.
MasterSingers will perform Joseph Haydn’s “Hymnus de Venerabili I – IV” with strings, French horns, and harpsichord. Little is known about these four hymns written by Haydn, an Austrian composer, who lived from 1732 to 1809; until recently, the hymns were regarded as lost. The harpsichord that will be used in the concert is a recent gift to the Berks County Music Community from the Kathleen & Karin Reinsel Early Instrument Fund of Reading Musical Foundation.
MasterSingers women will perform Ola Gjeilo’s “Song of the Universal” with strings and piano. Set to a Walt Whitman poem with the same title, the work was first published in 2014. Gjeilo, who was born in Norway in 1978, is a full-time composer from New York City. His works, which are performed all over the world, draw inspiration from movies and cinematic music.
MasterSingers men, joined by men from Opus One, will perform Arvo Pärt’s “De Profundis,” set to Psalm 130, with percussion and organ. This work was first published in 1981. Pärt was born in 1935 in Estonia, where he currently lives. Since 2011, Pärt has been regarded as the most-performed living composer in the world.
Chorale members will perform selections from Benjamin Britten’s “Friday Afternoons, Op. 7.” Written from 1933 through 1935, “Friday Afternoons” is one of Britten's earliest works for treble voices. Britten wrote the pieces for his brother Robert and the boys of Clive House School, Prestatyn, North Wales, who had choir practice on Friday afternoons. The poetry is widely mixed, ranging from anonymous old folk poems to works by seventeenth through twentieth century authors.
Tickets are $25 for VIP seats, $15 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling 610-898-7664 or, as available, at the door.
Berks Youth Chorus is a premier choral ensemble that offers high quality vocal instruction for children and youth who want to learn to sing or build on their existing talent. Singers from diverse neighborhoods, cultures, religions, and economic strata come together, make music, and make friendships that last a lifetime.
The concert season is supported by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, and Reading Musical Foundation.