Kingston Choral Society to Perform Live for the First Time Since December 2019

KINGSTON, ON—On April 24th, 2022, Kingston’s longest running choir will take to the stage at The Spire for the first time since December 2019 to perform Johannes Brahms’s great German Requiem.  Under the leadership of Artistic Director Ian Juby, and accompanied by Collaborative Pianist Clare Marion and Assistant Conductor Emily McPherson, the Kingston Choral Society will perform this stunning masterwork in English, using Brahms’s own 4 hands piano accompaniment.

In March of 2020 the pandemic dealt KCS, and choirs around the world, a devastating blow. The organization was set to perform this Requiem the next month when the pandemic forced the group to halt all activities. However, a choir that has been around for over 60 years knows how to adapt, so instead of taking a hiatus, KCS found ways to continue its forward momentum. The artistic team and executive board committed to protecting the quality of performance this choir is known for, while keeping safety front of mind, and the singers and artistic staff worked diligently during virtual and small in-person rehearsals. As a result, the organization has emerged from this difficult period stronger than ever.

“I am incredibly thankful for and impressed by the perseverance and dedication displayed by our members over the last two years. This work is complex and requires stamina and skill. Rehearsing in isolation at home or wearing masks while remaining physically distanced is no easy task, especially while preparing a masterwork like this. To finally bring this masterpiece to a Kingston audience is going to be a remarkable experience for everyone involved.” Ian Juby, Artistic Director

After the disappointment of having to cancel their much-anticipated winter concert, the choir is overjoyed and honoured to perform this beautiful piece, the significance of which has only grown in recent months. Uniquely humane and compassionate, Brahms’s Requiem was composed to offer comfort to people who are grieving. It is not lost on the members of the Kingston Choral Society that this will be an emotional performance for singers and audience alike, for many different reasons.

Brahms chose the text of his great German Requiem consciously in the vernacular of his country, so those who first introduced it to London audiences decided to pay tribute to that and perform it in English, with Brahms’s own 4-hand piano accompaniment. Ian Juby’s decision to perform the Requiem in this new English setting by Lara Hoggard will have the added benefit of making the story more accessible to audiences. The 4-hand accompaniment played by Clare Marion and Emily McPherson at the same piano, has an entirely different effect than the more common orchestral score; the humbler and more subtle chamber approach gives the audience a chance to experience more fully the incredible musical lines and complexity of Brahms’s composition. And anyone who has yet to experience two accomplished artists playing one piano is in for a treat.

The Kingston Choral Society is fortunate to welcome soprano Charlotte Stewart-Juby and baritone Stephen King, adding their artistry to the mix as soloists.

Tickets are available at kingstonchoralsociety.ca and through choir members. Those planning on attending the performance are asked to refer to the Kingston Choral Society website for updates on safety measures being put in place for the concert.

 

About the Kingston Choral Society

After more than 60 years, the Kingston Choral Society continues to occupy a special place in the Kingston music scene. Artistic Director Ian Juby has led the choir for the past 20 years and has recently moved the scope of the repertoire beyond the choral masterworks and extended classics which have been the group’s mainstay. Recent programs showcased works by living composers from Canada and around the world, including Ola Gjeilo, Dan MacDonald, Daniel Elder, and the world premiere of a commissioned work by Juno Nominated jazz pianist Marianne Trudel for saxophone, piano and choir. KCS continues to embrace the splendour and grandeur of the great classics, and performances of Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem have played to capacity audiences. Extended works of this nature are the choir’s “bread and butter”, and their performing home at The Spire, with its rich and resonant hall, is a perfect venue.

The Kingston Choral Society is a proud member of the Kingston Symphony Association.

 

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  • Dinah Jansen
    published this page in News 2022-03-25 12:08:14 -0400