The Choir of Germantown Friends School will perform its annual fall concert in the Meetinghouse on campus at 31 West Coulter Street on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.
This year’s program will include collaborations between the choir and other artists, including a string ensemble, a percussion ensemble and a modern dance ensemble.
The concert repertoire will feature the music of Ola Gjelo, including movements of his “Sunrise Mass” and “Evening Prayer.” Also in the program: “In Virtute Tua” for choir and string trio by Polish composer Grzegorz Gorczycki; Lars Jansson’s “To the Mothers in Brazil: Salve Regina,” a work for choir and percussion that incorporates choral and instrumental improvisation; and choral settings of poetry, including Eric Whitacre’s setting of “A Boy and a Girl” and David Dickau’s “I Am Not Yours,” based on a poem by Sara Teasedale. For the latter work, the choir will be joined by a modern dance ensemble, which will perform the choreography of guest artist Melissa Chisena.
The Germantown Friends School Choir is an ensemble of 45 students selected by audition from grades 10-12. Directed by Stephen Kushner, the group performs frequently throughout the year, often collaborating with many of Philadelphia’s leading professional musicians. Recently, the choir performed with the Singing City Choir, with members of the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra and with the Yale Glee Club. The group has also sung the Philadelphia premiere of “somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond” by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon.
The GFS Choir has a long tradition of travelling nationally and internationally, including concert tours to China, England, Scotland, France, Scandinavia, Canada, Poland, Russia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Puerto Rico.
In 2008, the choir toured the southern United States, singing concerts in Atlanta, Birmingham and Memphis, culminating with an extended stay in New Orleans where, in addition to performing a concert, the students participated in a project with Habitat for Humanity, helping to rebuild homes that were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. The choir’s most recent tour took them to Costa Rica, where they sang concerts in La Fortuna, Monteverde, Quepos and Cartago.