North Star Vocal Artists Present “Sacred Music for the New Millennium”
in San Francisco, Sonoma, San Rafael and Healdsburg
North Star Vocal Artists – our a cappella mixed choir – will perform nine works of sacred music in four performances:
Friday, October 30, at 8:00pm
St. Gregory of Nyssa Church, 500 DeHaro Street, San Francisco
Sunday, November 1, at 4:00pm
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 16290 Arnold Drive, Sonoma
Saturday, November 7, at 8:00pm
First Presbyterian Church, 1510 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael
Sunday, November 8, at 4:00pm
Paul Mahder Gallery, 222 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
There will be an informative Conductor Chat 30 minutes prior to each.
Advance-purchase tickets are $20 for adults and $8 for students. Click here, to buy tickets on our tickets page.
Tickets will be $25 and $10 at the door.
Discounts for families or groups of eight or more can be arranged by emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program is titled “Spirited Light: Sacred Music for the New Millennium.” This is not your grandfather's church music. Ranging from passages with great energy and exuberance to sublimely ethereal moments, this is music that moves the soul with poetic texts that engage the spirit.
“Spirited Light” by Jake Runestad sets Hildegard’s poem Antiphon for the Angels with energy and imagination. There are striking choral special effects in the word painting of such phrases as “plummeted down” and “that a mud-bound spirit might soar.”
Hildegard Tryptich by Frank Ferko is a double-chorus set of three of the poet’s original Latin texts of praise and adoration: O vis aeternitatis (O Strength
Eternal), Caritas abundant (Charity Imbued) and O virtus Sapientiae (O Strength of Wisdom).
Roxanna Panufnik’s “Prayer” for soprano solo and double chorus features soprano Ruth Baillie. The George Herbert sonnet text, evokes the richness and diversity of the experience of prayer, conveying its strength and gentleness, potency, joy and mystery.
“Psalmus 102” by Pavel Lukaszewski presents the psalm text in a modern adaptation of chant, setting each syllable to a single note. The harmonies of the chanted chords are lush and move in unexpected ways as they make their way to the final Amen
“The Spheres” is an a cappella setting, extracted from Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass for choir and string orchestra. Using the traditional Kyrie text from the standard mass, the music conveys a sense of floating in space, surrounded by stars and planets light years away.
Joseph Gregorio’s “O magnum mysterium” is the first of two Christmas texts on the program, this one contemplating the humility of Jesus birth story, with an extensive “alleluia” passage in the style of another choral gem by that name.
Sanford Dole’s festive setting of “Hodie Chritus natus est” (Today Christ is born) combines a joyful melody passing through each choral voice with playful rhythms and responses from the full choir.
The major work on the program is the Missa a Cappella by Einojuhani Rautavaara, the leading Finnish composer of his generation. The work was commissioned by – among others – Father Arthur Bridge of Australia, who has been integral in maintaining the long history of the church in creating new music. The composer combines modernism and mystical romanticism in his personal quest to give the listener “a glimpse of eternity through the window of time.”
Ivo Antognini’s “Canticum Novum” is joyful, bright and jubilant in its mantra-like exhortation to sing to the Lord a new song
“Alchemy: creating something new”
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Mt. Tam United Methodist Church
410 Sycamore Avenue, Mill Valley
North Star Vocal Artists – a 27-voice a cappella mixed choir conducted by Sanford Dole – will reprise their popular “Alchemy” concert program on Sunday, June 28, at Mt. Tam United Methodist Church (410 Sycamore Avenue) in Mill Valley.
The program includes one of the masterworks of 20th century choral literature, Swiss composer Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Chorus, and a variety of 21st century choral works, all unaccompanied. Included are British composers, Paul Mealor, Will Todd and Roxanna Panufnik, as well as the Giedrius Svilainis (Lithuania), Ola Gjeilo (Norway), and Americans Stephen Paulus, Donald Skirvin and Sanford Dole. Mt Tam Church is the perfect space in which to hear this kind of richly scored choral music.
The current North Star ensemble is comprised of singers from Corte Madera, Fairfax, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo and San Rafael in Marin County, Glen Ellen, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and Sonoma in Sonoma County, as well as Napa, Berkeley and San Francisco. “The singers are all fine musicians and have beautiful choral blend,” said Dole, whose conducting career includes many amateur and professional choirs throughout the Bay Area. “This really came together as a first-rate show, as good as any of the professional productions I’ve been a part of.”
The performance is preceded by an insightful program orientation 30 minutes prior to curtain. A light reception follows the performance.
Other Previous Performances
You can find more information on past seasons and performances of the Sanford Dole Ensemble in our Performances Archive.