‘Cries of War, Hopes for Peace’
The Bennington County Choral Society closes its 2015/2016 season this weekend with a stirring concert titled ‘Cries of War, Hopes For Peace.’ Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, at the First Congregational Church in Manchester, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington. The concert explores the human cost of war and uplifts the universal desire for peace through emotionally gripping masterpieces of the 20th century: the ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, the ‘Chichester Psalms’ by Leonard Bernstein and ‘Adagio for Strings’ by Samuel Barber.
Joining the choral society are soloists Jenna Rae and James Anderson; a small group from the Bennington Children’s Chorus performs the featured solo in ‘Chichester Psalms.’ In keeping with its mission to foster and promote the musical arts in our community, Sunday’s performance opens with a solo by one of last year’s Scholarship Audition winners, pianist Patrick James Staples, a student at the Long Trail School who has studied piano for nine years.
Music director Cailin Marcel Manson invites concertgoers to join him in a 30-minute discussion prior to each performance. He welcomes listeners, introduces the background of each piece, theme of the concert and the musical features of the program at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday and 2:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Concert tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door, in advance from choristers or at the Bennington Bookshop. Student tickets, $10 with valid student ID, are available at the door. Both concert venues are wheelchair accessible.