Free Slavic sacred music concert to be presented in Pottstown

Due to the overwhelming success of the 2012 concert, voices from the Westminster Choir College return to Pottstown! I attended last year’s concert and it was outstanding.

A concert of sacred hymns and liturgical music of the Slavic tradition will be presented by the Theoria Chamber Choir at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 23rd, in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, 301 Cherry Street, Pottstown, Pa.  The concert is free and open to the public; a free will offering will be accepted.  Please note that the church is air-conditioned and handicapped accessible via the ramp in the rear parking lot.

The Theoria Chamber Choir features students and alumni of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J. Westminster is a four-year music college and graduate school that prepares men and women for careers as professional performers and as music leaders in schools, universities, churches, and professional and community music organizations.  Westminster choirs perform annually in venues including the Kimmel Center, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, and various groups are professionally recorded as they perform well-known composers’ new and other arrangements.

Drew Skitko, Theoria Chamber Choir Director
Drew Skitko, Theoria Chamber Choir Director

Theoria Chamber Choir is directed by Andrew Skitko, a native of Pottstown, and graduate of The Hill School.  Skitko also serves as the cantor and music director at The Assumption of The Virgin Mary Byzantine Catholic Church of Trenton, N.J., where Theoria Chamber Choir performs about once a month. Skitko also has been a cantor at St. John’s church.

In April 2012, the Westminster Slavic Choir, also under Skitko’s direction, performed at St. John’s church to a crowd that included many people who had never before heard the traditional Slavic music and asked Skitko to return to perform another concert.  Due to keen interest, Skitko was eager to return to Pottstown with the Theoria Chamber Choir, a four-part group of powerful, professionally trained voices.

“Performing in Pottstown allows us to share this beautiful music with my hometown and support Pottstown’s growing, diverse arts presence,” said Skitko.

Joining Skitko, a baritone, will be Liesl McPherrin, soprano, Lauren Delfing, alto, and Brett Avery-Lawyer, tenor.

The concert will feature sacred liturgical choral works by composers including Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Vedel, and Hurko. Selections will be performed in English as well as Old Church Slavonic.

The concert is expected to last about one hour.

For further information, please contact Andrew Skitko, choral director

Cell: 610-220-3479; E-mail: andrewskitko@gmail.com

Eastern Slavic music concert CDs and DVDs now available

Last spring area residents were treated to a concert of Eastern Slavic music performed by a stellar group of singers known as the Westminster Slavic Choir. If you would like to re-experience that uplifting afternoon or hear the Choir for the first time, a professionally produced DVD and CD are now available.  CD’s are $15 and DVD’s are $20. See ordering details below.

The concert was performed by the Westminster Slavic Choir in April at St. John The Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, Pottstown, Pa.  The well-attended, acclaimed performance included works by composers Bortniansky, Vedel, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Hurko, as well as traditional chant.  Selections were performed in English as well as Old Slavonic.

The Westminster Slavic Choir features students of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J.  The vocalists all are either vocal performance or music education majors at Westminster, a division of Westminster College of the Arts, a residential college of music located in Princeton, N.J.  Westminster is a four-year music college and graduate school that prepares men and women for careers as professional performers and as music leaders in schools, universities, churches, and professional and community music organizations. As Westminster Choir College students, the talented young men and women of the Slavic Choir join their peers in performing with the world’s leading orchestras in venues ranging from the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York.

    The chamber choir is directed by Andrew Skitko, a native of Pottstown, Pa.  Andrew has begun his master’s degree in vocal performance at Westminster this fall.  Andrew also serves as the cantor and music director at The Assumption of The Virgin Mary Byzantine Catholic Church of Trenton, N.J. (Very Rev. Gregory Noga, pastor),where the Westminster Slavic Choir performs about once a month.  Andrew also assists at St. John’s in Pottstown, his home parish and where he first began cantoring (Fr. Nicholas DeProspero, pastor).  Recently Andrew participated in a seminar focusing on the interpretation of Slavic church music at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary with leading expert Vladimir Gorbik, choral director at the Moscow Representation Church of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery, and Artistic Director and Conductor of the professional men’s chorus formed at the Metochion in Moscow, Russia.

To obtain a copy of the DVD and/or CD, please email Andrew at andrewskitko@gmail.com or write to him at 101 Walnut Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540, and include your preference and quantity as well as your mailing address. CD’s are $15 and DVD’s are $20. A 2 CD set of Resurrection Matins & Divine Liturgy is available for $20. The choir is also available for concert and liturgical performance – contact Mr. Skitko for booking information.

Music at Emmanuel presents Westminster Kantorei this Sunday

Editor’s note: This came to us via Andrew Meade, the Minister of Music at Emmanuel Lutheran. Thanks, Andrew, for all you do to bring exceptional musical talent to Pottstown!

MUSIC AT EMMANUEL

Presents:

Westminster Kantorei

The Glory and the Dream

Andrew Megill, conductor

Special Guests: The Select Choir of Daniel Boone High School, Birdsboro PA

Sunday, April 29, 2012           4:00pm

FREE ADMISSION

Emmanuel Lutheran Church   150 N. Hanover Street     Pottstown, PA   19464

Facebook.com/music.at.emmanuel

Andrew Meade – Minister of Music

www.emmanuelpottstown.org

610-323-4312

 Founded in 2004, Westminster Kantorei is an auditioned chamber choir from the renowned Westminster Choir College specializing in early and contemporary music. The ensemble, which is composed of approximately 24 graduate and undergraduate students, performs regularly with some of America’s leading specialists in Baroque music, including collaborations with violinist Nancy Wilson and vocal ensemble Fuma Sacra.  Recent seasons have included performances of Bach’s Missa brevis in G Minor, cantatas, and passions, including the St. Matthew Passion at Avery Fisher Hall, with the Westminster Choir and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Kurt Masur. The ensemble has also performed works by Monteverdi (Vespers of 1610, Sestina and Lamento della Ninfa), Buxtehude (Membra Jesu nostri), Schütz, Schein, Telemann, Zelenka, Victoria, and Palestrina, as well as a concert of Latin American Baroque music.
Westminster Kantorei has also commissioned and premiered many works by such composers as Caleb Burhans, James Blachly, Doug Helvering, Philip Rice, Nathan Jones and Stefan Young.  This year, the ensemble premieres new works by Blake Henson, Daniel Elder, and the internationally acclaimed Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström, commissioned for the ensemble by the Soli Deo Gloria Foundation and the Westminster Choir College Department of Sacred Music.

The concert program will include: “Musikalische exequien” by Heinrich Schutz, “The Glory and the Dream” by Richard Rodney Bennett, and “Psalm 67” by Sven-David Sandström.  The stunningly beautiful funeral music of Schutz’s Musikalische exequien is considered one of the masterpieces of the early Baroque period.  William Wordsworth’s poetic masterpiece “Intimations of Immortality” provides the text for Bennett’s The Glory and the Dream, who, in addition to a 50-year career performing and writing jazz, has composed many classic film scores.  Sandström’s Psalm 67 is a newly-commissioned work that received its world premier by this ensemble in October of 2011.  Our special guests for this concert will be the select choir from Daniel Boone High School in Birdsboro, PA.  Led by their conductor, Erin Benn, this outstanding high school ensemble will open the concert with performances of “I’ve Got the Music in Me” arranged by Deke Sharon and “With a Lily in Your Hand” by Eric Whitacre,.

MUSIC AT EMMANUEL is dedicated to bringing the live music of the highest calibre to the Pottstown community.  We are also dedicated to supporting young artists from our region as they develop their performing careers.  All concerts on our 2011-12 season are offered free of charge to the public, and are funded by the generous support of individuals in our church and community who believe that great music has an essential place in our culture and community.    For additional information about the concert series please visit the church’s website: www.emmanuelpottstown.org or find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/music.at.emmanuel.

Eastern Slavic music to be presented at St. John’s in Pottstown

 A free concert of sacred hymns and other liturgical music of the Eastern Slavic tradition will be presented by the Westminster Slavic Choir at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, 301 Cherry Street, Pottstown, Pa. 

            The Westminster Slavic Choir features students of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J.  The vocalists all are either vocal performance or music education majors at Westminster, a division of Westminster College of the Arts, a residential college of music located in Princeton, N.J.  Westminster is a four-year music college and graduate school that prepares men and women for careers as professional performers and as music leaders in schools, universities, churches, and professional and community music organizations. As Westminster Choir College students, the talented young men and women of the Slavic Choir join their peers in performing with the world’s leading orchestras in venues ranging from the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York.

The chamber choir is directed by senior vocal performance major Andrew Skitko III, a native of Pottstown, Pa.  Drew also serves as the cantor and music director at The Assumption of The Virgin Mary Byzantine Catholic Church of Trenton, N.J., where the Westminster Slavic Choir performs about once a month.

The concert will include works by composers Bortniansky, Vedel, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Hurko, as well as traditional chant.  Selections will be performed in English as well as Old Slavonic.

Parking is located in the rear of the church.  The church is handicapped-accessible via the ramp located from the parking lot. A free-will offering will be taken.  The concert is expected to last about one hour.

For further information, please contact Andrew Skitko III, choral director at 610-220-3479 or via e-mail at  skitkoa@rider.edu

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