The Falmouth Chorale, led by guest conductor John Verkuilen, will present “Sing Me the Universal” on Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, at 4 PM both days at the Simon Center for the Arts, Falmouth Academy. The chorale and its chamber singers will be joined by a chamber orchestra and mezzo-soprano Megan Callahan to perform choral arrangements of works by beloved poets.
The concert program highlights poems that seek and celebrate the waypoints marking life’s roads for all travelers on the journey. “Fern Hill,” Dylan Thomas’s portrait of childhood games and fantasies, is brought to life by John Corigliano’s spirited musical lines evoking the lambs and foxes the lad prized as playmates. Composer Dan Forrest has paired Samuel Clemens’s moving elegy for his daughter with a lyrical melody and harmonies to produce “Good Night, Dear Heart,” a simple but unforgettable tribute. Randall Thompson’s music for Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” evokes the quandary of choosing one’s way, while Rene Claussen’s setting of Robert Burns’s “O My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose” brings back the ardent feeling of being in love for the first time.
Vibrant settings of poems in gospel, shape-note, and contemporary musical styles round out the program, and Walt Whitman’s exuberant “Sing me the universal,” set by Norwegian composer Ola Gjello, brings all the pieces together in a musical celebration of our connections to each other and to nature.
Falmouth Chorale will welcome John Verkuilen as guest conductor for the October 2019 and March 2020 concerts. Ms. Verkuilen earned his bachelor’s degree in international studies, economics, and music from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While there he founded and served as music director for four vocal and instrumental ensembles. After completing his graduate studies in conducting at The Boston Conservatory Mr. Verkuilen taught theory and voice lessons at the Conservatory’s Vocal/Choral Intensive. Mr. Verkuilen currently enjoys an active career in the Boston region as a choral conductor, private voice teacher and coach, and vocalist.
Mezzo-soprano Megan Callahan is a native of Seattle and an Encouragement Award winner from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Tulsa District. This fall, Ms. Callahan will perform with the Boston University Opera Institute. Notable stage credits include the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Charlottesville Opera, and American Opera Projects. Ms. Callahan holds a master’s degree in opera performance from the Boston Conservatory and a bachelor’s degree in voice performance from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Tickets for adults are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and $5 for students; and are available at www.falmouthchorale.org or 774-392-2383. Advance tickets paid by cash or check are also available from members of the chorale and at Eight Cousins Books in Falmouth, Uncle Bill’s Country Store in North Falmouth, Market Street Bookshop in Mashpee Commons and Titcomb’s Book Shop in East Sandwich.