Mayflower Camerata to Open Lakeville Arts and Music Festival with Free Concert
On Friday evening, October 4th, 2013, the Mayflower Camerata will present a free concert at the Lakeville United Church of Christ (Rev. Greta MacRae, pastor; corner of Routes 18 & 105), at 8:00 pm. The group is an unaccompanied vocal ensemble that varies in size from four to twelve singers, and is directed by J. Fred Thornton. Mr. Thornton formerly directed the Mayflower Chorale and Chamber Orchestra during its fifteen-year existence from 1983 until 1997. It became well-known in the area for its bi-annual "historically-informed" performances of Handel's "Messiah", as well as a four-program Mozart Festival in 1990-91. The Chorale and Chamber Orchestra also performed masterworks such as Bach's "Mass in B Minor", Haydn's "The Creation" and "The Seasons", Brahms's "Requiem", and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The Mayflower Chorale was the parent organization of the Camerata, which made its debut with a concert in Plymouth, MA on October 30, 1992. It has performed on various occasions and venues since that time. The Mayflower Camerata’s most recent performances in Lakeville were in conjunction with the 2011 Lakeville Arts and Music Festival on Friday, September 30th; as well as on April 10th of that year as part of a Lenten Choral Concert at the Lakeville U. C. C.
For this concert, again hosted by the Lakeville U. C. C., the Mayflower Camerata will perform a fifty-minute program with an ensemble of six singers, including its director. They are Sylvia Thornton (Middleboro), soprano; Holly Leach (Lakeville), mezzo-soprano; Eleanor Osborne (Middleboro), alto; Jim Moore (Norton) and Fred Thornton (Middleboro), tenor/baritone; and Larry Carlson (Carver), bass. The singers have all been active with additional musical endeavors: Sylvia, Holly, and Larry were all soloists with the Mayflower Chorale, and Jim was organist and choir director for 15 years at Pilgrim Congregational in Taunton. Eleanor formerly sang with Boston's prestigious Handel & Haydn Society. Sylvia was also Vocal Music Director at Plymouth public high schools for 34 years.
The program will be a varied one spanning nearly half of the past millennium. It will open with a Renaissance set beginning with two Elizabethan madrigals by Thomas Weelkes (“Hark, All Ye Lovely Saints” and “As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending”), and continue with a French chanson by Pierre Cadeac (“Je suis desheritee”), an “Agnus Dei” by Palestrina based on that chanson, and another French chanson by Claude LeJeune (“La belle Aronde”). The middle portion includes four part-songs by Johannes Brahms (Op. 104), and the concluding sets of contemporary numbers include a part-song by Benjamin Britten (“The Evening Primrose”), “O, My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose” by David Dickau, “Loch Lomond” in an arrangement for The King’s Singers, a stunning Christmas piece by the New York City composer James Bassi (2007), “You Are The New Day” (another King’s Singers favorite), “Simple Gifts”, and a rousing spiritual “Saints Bound for Heaven”.
Again, the concert is completely admission-free, and the Lakeville United Church of Christ is wheelchair/handicap-accessible.