Schola Cantorum, Brass, and Organ Enliven the Old and New Hymns
Brass, Organ and Choir will bring voices of duty and devotion to life in a hymn festival that depicts the themes of the new Seminary Ridge Museum this Friday evening, November 1, 2013 in a Music, Gettysburg! concert.
The 30 voice Schola Cantorum, under the direction of Stephen P. Folkemer, will provide the lead choral structure to the 10 hymns that tell the stories of war, its causes and consequences, the human suffering and compassion of the medical responses and more. The Keystone Brass Quintet will be joined by David Erickson on the Andover Organ to interpret two centuries of vivid hymn texts and tunes.
The Friday, 7:30pm concert is free and open to the public, and includes a free will offering, characteristic of the Music, Gettysburg! concert series. Parking is available in the Seminary’s event and museum section, as well as Valentine Hall parking areas.
The festival of hymns include pristine examples of 19th Century Underground Railroad spirituals (We Wait Beneath the Furnace Blast), the closeness of death (Steal Away), Daniel Payne’s Reveal Thyself and more.
More contemporary writings include hymns by Herman Stuempfle responding to the violence of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, as well as the compassionate and peace seeking that comes from war’s violence. The festival includes recent efforts by Mark Oldenburg, writing about the cupola, about the lives of seminarians, and the sin and redemption of a loving God. While most of the hymn tunes are old favorites, they all find new settings by Stephen Folkemer for congregation, choir, brass, and organ.
Performing across the region since 1976, the talented Keystone Brass Quintet includes Doug Winemiller and Peter Johnston on trumpet, Stephen Burg on French horn, Michael Dietz on trombone, and James Biddle on the tuba.
Oldenburg summarized the concert as a way of exploring the themes that emerge from Seminary Ridge Museum building itself to interpret the American story of the last 200 years. He said, “certainly its service during the battle, as a look-out post, a strategic location, and a hospital, is a major part of that story. But it also includes the nation’s struggle with slavery before the war and for liberty, justice, and reconciliation after it. And, of course, it includes the formation of seminarians, who are not angels (despite the seminary’s long-time nickname of “The Angel Factory”), but people struggling to put their practices and beliefs, as well as their gifts, in the service of the Gospel.”
Oldenburg concluded that the “hymn festival on Nov. 1 will sing these stories. We’ll sing some hymns from the 19thcentury, but mostly we’ll use the church’s song (including several texts written by Gettysburg’s own Herman Stuempfle) to reflect the themes that the Museum celebrates.
Enjoy this festive musical event this Friday evening, which is free and open to the public. The Seminary Chapel is located at 147 Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg. For more information about this and other concerts in the 2013-2014 Music, Gettysburg! schedule, please call 717-338-3000 ext 2197 or visit the web site: http://www.musicgettysburg.org/.