For an audio recording of Director Nym Cooke
discussing the Spring 2015 season, click here.
The repertory for these concerts was chosen by the singers themselves, in a process of online voting run by QVS bass and webmaster Eric Glinsky. Every one of the 130+ pieces performed at the chorus’s Spring concerts over the past ten years was listed on an electronic form, and from these each singer chose up to twenty-five favorite pieces. The pieces receiving the most votes will be performed this Spring—and also recorded, on the chorus’s first professionally produced CD.
The set-list thus arrived at reads like a “What’s What” of community chorus favorites. Tied for first place, with 23 votes each, are a spirited arrangement of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and a medley from the ever-popular musical Les Misérables. Other gems on the list include James Taylor’s “That Lonesome Road,” a rollicking arrangement of “Down by the Riverside,” a medley including “California Dreamin’” and “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” the haunting “Shenandoah,” a gospel version of “Amazing Grace,” “Ol’ Man River” from Show Boat, a medley from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, and George Gershwin’s perennially popular “Summertime.” There are also QVS specialties (sung in these arrangements by no other chorus in the land) such as the magical Breton piece “Mont Saint-Michel,” the rousing but little-known black spiritual “Now Let Me Fly,” and Cooke’s own setting of “The Wild Mountain Thyme.” These will be concerts to remember!
And QVS fans can purchase a very special souvenir to remember them by. Two weeks after their concerts, the chorus goes into the “studio” (likely one of the concert venues) for the first of two intensive recording sessions under the guidance of professional recording engineer Dan Richardson (whose website, nottooloud.com, is just a great photo and an email address). The resulting CD will be available by Summer’s end. In the concerts and on the recording, the chorus will sing both a cappella and accompanied by pianist Brooks Milgate; and in one number on the recording, “Mont Saint-Michel,” they'll be supported by a band including Celtic harp, fiddle, hand-drum, acoustic guitar, and uilleann pipes.
Winter - Celtic Noels
This coming December (2015), the Quinebaug Valley Singers will bring back the sensationally popular “Celtic Noëls” program which they offered in 2004 and 2008. These exciting pieces from Brittany in northwest France—deeply devotional, deeply Christmasy—are accompanied by full church organ, piano, soprano recorder, guitar, drums, and gong. The concerts will take place on Saturday, December 5th at 7:30 p.m. in St. Joachim Chapel at St. Anne/St. Patrick Parish in Sturbridge; Sunday, December 6th at 3 p.m. at the Charlton Baptist Church; and, for a grand finale joined by the Quaboag Choral Society, Sunday, December 13th at 3 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Webster.