Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kickstarting Byrd at Mount Calvary, Baltimore

The Choir of Mount Calvary Church (Baltimore's Roman Catholic, Anglican Use parish) hopes to sing William Byrd's Mass for Five Voices and great cycle of propers (motets) for Candlemas publicly both at Solemn High Mass on Sunday, February 2, 2014, and later than month in a free, public concert. Part of Byrd's Gradualia (1605)--his monumental cycle of choral works for the great liturgical feast days--the five-voice pieces for Candlemas are almost never presented in their natural, native context: the Catholic Mass. This annual feast day rarely falls on a Sunday, and so 2014 provides a particularly apt opportunity to undertake this special project. The Mount Calvary Church Choir is an ensemble of Baltimore-area professional musicians who sing classical polyphony, Gregorian chant propers, and select works of important composers of the last 100 years. Most are current students or alumni of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. They are led by Dr. Daniel Bennett Page, a music historian specializing in liturgical music in sixteenth-century England (including Byrd), longtime parish and cathedral musician, and undergraduate dean at the University of Baltimore. Funding will cover artists' fees for two performances, two extra rehearsals, and professional recording of both performances. For more, click here.

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