This Sunday morning will be steeped in the musical imagination of famed Baroque composer George Frideric Händel (1685-1759). At the 9:00 service, violinist Harmony Tucker and myself will play Händel’s Sonata No. 1 in A Major as the prelude. Come early and hear this amazing work! Excerpts from Sonata No. 3 in F Major will also be offered.
At 10:00, join Dr. John Pippen in the Forum Room for his presentation on Part III of Händel’s Messiah. Dr. Pippen, Assistant Professor of Music History and Musicology at Colorado State University, will discuss the history of the work, the genre of the oratorio in general and its creators, and aspects of this Easter portion of Handel’s oratorio including form and text setting.
At 11:00, we will all have the privilege of experiencing the third part of Händel’s masterwork Messiah (1741). Accompanied by an eleven member chamber orchestra and featuring soloists from around the Fort Collins area, the Chancel Choir and friends will present all nine sections of part three in their entirety.*
Please join us for this Easter season service of scripture and music from Händel’s beloved oratorio, Messiah.
At 6:00, Bobby will be joined by harpist Alaina Borgers and friends for a Celtic-inspired service with other musical excursions very possible.
Director of Music
*Recordings of the musical offerings from April 29
Eastertide and Earth Day will be acknowledged in the music selections this Sunday.
French composer Louis Vierne, also famously the titular organist at Notre Dame Cathedral from 1900 until his death in 1937, will be represented by the sprightly “Chant de Printemps” (Spring Song). Italian concert organist Marco Bossi’s “Alleluja – Final,” from 6 Pieces, Op. 70 (1891) will close the morning services.
The Chancel Choir offers American composer William Albright’s “Look There! The Christ.” Taken from his collection of Six New Hymns (1983), this Easter text is set to verses over an intricate accompaniment in dual time signatures and a chorus reminiscent of gospel and blues rock. This approach of creating synergy between several seemingly incompatible styles of music is a hallmark of Albright’s compositional ethos.
On Sunday evening, Earth Day and environmental awareness will be focused upon with music both old and new. Saxophonist Bill Cleary and vocalist Kristen Smith will join Bobby and others for an evening of predominantly American music including gospel, jazz, and Native American sounds, with flute, and possibly a touch of Gregorian chant…
Many of this week’s musical selections have nature-oriented themes in support of the Environmental Fair held this Sunday, April 15, in the Fellowship Hall. I will play two selections from Flor Peeters’ Lied Symphony, op. 66 for the morning preludes. At the 9:00 service, “Lied to the Flowers,” a set of variations on an original chant-like melody fully utilizing the colors of the organ will be presented. “Lied to the Mountains,” a noble work ably capturing the majesty of the mountains well-known in our own natural habitat, begins the 11:00 service. These songs of nature were sketched out on an organ recital tour by Flor Peeters in 1947 and completed the following year. He considered the whole work a “symphonic Benedicite,” a hymn to nature and its creator.
Springtime Easter carols will be sung throughout the services and one played as a postlude as a toccata on “Gaudeamus Pariter” (often paired with the Easter text “Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain”) by James Biery.
The Chancel Choir will also offer John Rutter’s setting of “For the Beauty of the Earth” at the 11:00.
At 6:00, acoustic music featuring banjo player Josh Beard will be presented with a focus on folk and bluegrass. Environmentally-friendly songs by John Bell and hymn writers of the past, reconstructed, will also be shared.
Each week, Director of Music Mark Heiskanen writes a Music Minute previewing the upcoming Sunday's musical offerings and occasionally opines on other music-related topics.
We are blessed by an engaging music program at Plymouth!
Mark Heiskanen has been Plymouth's Director of Music since September 2017. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Mark has experience and great interest in a diverse range of musical styles including jazz, rock, musical theatre, and gospel. He is thrilled to serve a congregation and staff that values diversity and inclusion in all facets of life.