Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh Presents Toward the Unknown Region The choir of 100-plus voices will deliver dynamic works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Jonathan Dove, and more.
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (January 31, 2022) – This April, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) presents Toward the Unknown Region, a concert about boldly emerging from these uncertain times with daring optimism and a sense of renewal.
At 114 years in operation, MCP is the city’s most celebrated chorus. Composed of approximately 120 singers, it is led by Robert Page Music Director Matthew Mehaffey. With its 2021-’22 season, the choir returns to live shows after more than a year.
MCP’s April concert will feature two dynamic works for chorus: Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Toward the Unknown Region and Jonathan Dove’s blistering song cycle The Passing of the Year, which contains an extended, challenging, and beautiful solo piano part. The concert will also feature music by Jocelyn Hagen, Ellen Gilson Voth, and others.
Mehaffey notes that the two major works featured in the concert incorporate texts from prominent poets, including Whitman, Blake, Tennyson, and Dickinson.
“Using a variety of highly charged and hypnotic rhythms and piano and choral textures, The Passing of the Year traces a journey through the seasons, from the anticipation of summer and its eventual steamy arrival, to autumn’s sense of mortality, ending in winter with the promise of rebirth and hope to come,” he says.
“Toward the Unknown Region, one of the composer’s earliest works, captures the sense of youthful adventure when one sets out on a new journey. It begins with murky, uncertain harmonies and climaxes with a new, exultant theme on Whitman’s lines ‘Then we burst forth, we float, in time and space/ O soul, prepared for them, equal, equipt at last…’”
Mehaffey adds, “Both works are meant to inspire hope and courage amidst our uncertain times. The program will be rounded out with a variety of other pieces, both ancient and modern.”
Toward the Unknown Region:
Saturday, April 2, 2022 | 7:30 pm
Hillman Center for Performing Arts, Shadyside Academy
Sunday, April 3, 2022 | 2:30 pm
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Upper St. Clair
$30 General Admission
$15 Student (w/ID)
FREE – children 12 and under
Proof of vaccination is required for entry to all concerts. Children under 12 and guests who need reasonable accommodations due to a medical exception or a sincerely held religious belief must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. Masks will be required of all patrons whenever Allegheny County is in the CDC’s “substantial” or “high” community transmission levels.
About the Mendelssohn: Critically acclaimed as one of the finest choruses in the country, the 114-year-old Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) is re-inventing choral music for the 21st century. MCP singers are everyday community members from diverse backgrounds and professions who give generously of their time and talent to create powerful, unexpected, and deeply moving moments of musical discovery. Composed of approximately 120 singers, the Choir performs both with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and in its own concerts, and it fosters the next generation of choral singers through the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. More info: https://www.themendelssohn.org