Bach and fall colors in Marlboro

Second annual Blanche Moyse Memorial Concert honors Chorale’s founder

MARLBORO — The Blanche Moyse Chorale will once again perform a concert of J.S. Bach's choral works in memory of its founder, Blanche Moyse.

Under the direction of Mary Westbrook-Geha, this second annual Blanche Moyse Memorial Concert, on Sunday, Oct. 7, will include Cantata No. 8, Liebster Gott, wann werd' ich sterben; Cantata No. 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme; and The Magnificat.

The chorale will be complemented by a vocal quartet and orchestra, both composed almost entirely of veterans of the former New England Bach Festival.

Three of this concert's four vocal soloists attracted Moyse's attention early in their professional careers, and have figured significantly in her performances ever since, both at the New England Bach Festival and the Marlboro Music Festival.

Soloists will be mezzo-soprano Mary Westbrook-Geha, tenor Stephen Paul Spears, soprano Hyunah Yu, and baritone David Tinervia.

The Blanche Moyse Memorial Orchestra is a baroque ensemble consisting mostly of musicians who, over the years, have been selected by Moyse to participate in the New England Bach Festival (1969-2004).

It features Peggy Spencer, violin; Mitsuru Tsubota, violin; Mayuki Fukuhara, violin; Louise Schulman, viola; Daire FitzGerald, cello; Jack Kulowitsch, bass; Gregory Hayes, organ; Stephen Taylor, oboe; Mark Hill, oboe; and Susan Rotholz, flute.

The Blanche Moyse Chorale, founded in 1978 as a program of the Brattleboro Music Center, is a chamber chorus of about 30 voices, who strive to attain the high level of musical artistry exemplified by its original director, Blanche Moyse.

In recent years, director Mary Westbrook-Geha has led the Chorale through performances of Handel's Messiah, Copland's In the Beginning, Mendelssohn's Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Palestrina's Missa: Hodie Christus Natus Est, Schütz's Musicalische Exequien, Brahms's Liebeslieder Waltzes, motets and cantatas of J.S. Bach, as well as numerous shorter works.

Although based in the Brattleboro area, the Chorale includes singers from neighboring states and beyond.

The performance takes place at 3 p.m. at Marlboro College's Persons Auditorium. Tickets are $20, or $40 for pre-ordered preferred seating, and may be obtained from the Brattleboro Music Center, or general seating will be available at the door. Special wheelchair and accessible seating are available by reservation.

The concert will be preceded by a lecture on Cantata No. 140 at 1:30 p.m., in Ragle Hall at the college's Serkin Center for the Arts. The lecture is free, but donations will be gladly accepted.

For more information and tickets, contact the Brattleboro Music Center, at 802-257-4523, or visit

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