In the Community: Downtown Singers’ concert features rarely performed Brahms

Music notesThe Binghamton Downtown Singers’ upcoming all-Brahms program will feature a variety of choral works, most never performed before by the Singers and many rarely heard anywhere in concert. The chorus includes several SUNY Broome graduates and Professor Glenn Modrak.

“An Evening of Brahms” will be begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, 208 Main St., Johnson City. It will be conducted by Kristina Ruffo, who also prepared the chorus.

Some pieces will have orchestra accompaniment; others will feature pianists Margaret “Pej” Reitz and Jinah Lee. Vocal soloists are baritone Timothy LeFebvre, soprano Michelle Thompson and tenor Erik Thompson.

The program will include the Liebeslieder Waltzes (Love Song Waltzes); Von ewiger Liebe (Of Eternal Love); Die Mainacht (May Night); Ave Maria; Triumphlied; Gesang der Parzen (Song of the Fates), and, from A German Requiem, “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place.”

Several pieces will be sung in German; others in English. Ave Maria, performed by the women of the Downtown Singers and the Maine-Endwell High School Women’s Choir, will be sung in Latin.

Both Triumphlied and Gesang der Parzen are not often performed. On the other hand, the Liebeslieder Waltzes are among Brahms’ most popular choral works. The love songs are written in Ländler style (think Maria and von Trapp’s oh-so-meaningful dance in The Sound of Music).

General admission tickets for the concert are $15. Call 607-648-5032 or email DTS_Concerts@stny.rr.com. For more information about the Downtown Singers, visit downtownsingers.org.

Funding for the concert is provided in part by a project grant from the Broome County Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund. This project is also made possible with public funds from the Chenango Arts Council’s Decentralization Grants program, a re-grant program of the NYS Council of the Arts, with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature. Additional support for Broome County is provided by the Stewart W. & Wilma C. Hoyt Foundation.