Oratorio Chorale

November 2013 Concert: Musical Fireworks

The Oratorio Chorale begins their 40th season with “Musical Fireworks,” a program that includes music by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Monteverdi, Schutz, and J. S. Bach’s aria “Jauchzet,” featuring soprano Jessica Petrus and trumpeter Betty Rines. The concert includes the Maine premiere of the “Kyrie” from “Festival Mass” by Bates College’s Scott Ordway.

The program also introduces Emily Isaacson, the Chorale’s new director, who took over the baton when Peter Frewen retired, after 27 years with the Chorale.

The Chorale will be joined by the Portland Brass Quintet, the Maine Chamber Ensemble, organist Ray Cornils, and soloists soprano Jessica Petrus, mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo, and John D. Adams, baritone.

Performances will take place on Saturday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Seventh–day Adventist Church, Brunswick, and Sunday, November 17 at 3:00 p.m. at Woodfords Congregational Church, Portland.

Soprano Jessica Petrus has soloed with many notable conductors, among them Nic McGegan and Simon Megill. She was featured in Master Classes with Christina Pluhar as part of the Carnegie Hall Weill Institute. In addition, Jessica and her sister, soprano Juliet Petrus, specialize in duet repertoire for high voices featuring music from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo has appeared under conductors Gunter Schuller, Harry Christophers and many others, and has been featured by the Firebird Ensemble, Carmel Bach Festival, Bermuda Festival and Europisches Musikfest Stuttgart.

As a soloist bass/baritone John D. Adams’ concert repertoire ranges from the cantatas and oratorios of Bach, Handel and Haydn to premieres of new works. He has appeared with orchestras on both coasts of the United States.

The Portland Brass is one of the area’s most versatile chamber music ensembles, acclaimed for its high quality performances and wide-ranging repertoire. Quintet members are Betty Rines, trumpet; Mark Tipton, trumpet; Sophie Flood, horn; Mark Manduca, trombone; and Michael Milnarik, tuba. All are members of or perform regularly with the Portland Symphony, and their individual credits include performing with major ensembles and guest artists throughout the region.

Ray Cornils is the Municipal Organist for the City of Portland, a post he has held since 1990. He has also served the First Parish Church, UCC in Brunswick, Maine as Minister of Music since 1987 where he has built an extensive music program of five vocal and two handbell choirs.

Concert sponsors are Bath Savings Institution and Brann & Isaacson, with additional support from Bates College and the Davis Family Foundation.