The SUNY Broome Masterworks Concert will feature The Creation by Joseph Haydn. It will be performed at the Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church in Johnson City (308 Main Street) on Sunday, May 10, (Mother’s Day) at 4 p.m.

The program combines the SUNY Broome College Choir, the College Community Choir, and the Chamber Singers with the Basically Bach Ensemble and instrumentalists. We will also have the privilege of hearing our outstanding faculty vocalists from SUNY Broome: Professor Brenda Dawe, soprano; Professor Gerald Grahame, tenor; and SUNY Binghamton Professor Thomas Goodheart, bass.

The Basically Bach Ensemble, conducted by Fitzroy Stewart, was formed in 2006 primarily for performance of the music of J.S. Bach and other composers of oratorio. Many of these BBE singers are former music teachers, organists and purely music lovers who are delighted to share their expertise with our students here at SUNY Broome. We are fortunate  to have them and the adults on our College Community Choir, sharing  their enthusiasm and experience with our students at SUNY Broome in the discipline and joy of wonderful music making.

Joseph Haydn’s work, The Creation, was written when the composer was sixty-seven years young. An oratorio is really an ppera without the staging and costumes and usually of a religious nature. Interestingly enough, Haydn had enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a court composer of instrumental,  secular and religious music for the Roman Catholic Church.  However, it wasn’t until his career took him to England in the late 1790s that he had the chance to hear the oratorios of  the then-popular composer Georg Frederic Handel (1685-1759).

A man named Lidley had written a libretto (story) of The Creation and based it on the first chapter of Genesis and the seventh and eighth books of  Paradise Lost by the English poet John Milton (1608-1674).  The  Viennese composer Haydn put those English words to music and called his composition The Creation. His friend and patron, the Baron Gottfried van Swieten, later translated the work from English to German.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors at the door. Presale tickets are $9/$7 from choir members.