Two prominent contemporary American organ composers will be presented during this week's morning services. Gerre Hancock was known as a master improviser of all the classic forms including fugues, trios, and even entire organ symphonies. This ingenuity is very present in his choral and organ output as well. The atmospheric and tonally adventurous setting of the well known hymn Beautiful Savior opens the services. Ned Rorem left an indelible mark on contemporary organ repertoire as well as the vocal, choral, and operatic genres and in literature as a diarist. At 95 years of age, Mr. Rorem has retired from composing but enjoys his works performed regularly throughout the world. Fanfare from OrganBook III and "...No darkness at all..." from A Quaker Reader will be offered.
The Chancel Choir will present a setting of the familiar Isaiah 9:2-6 text prophesying the advent of the Light to the world in Arise and Shine! by John Paradowski.
Come later to the 6:00 p.m. service for a Celtic evening of jigs, reels, and beautifully haunting tones from the British Isles. Violinist Abigail Steidley and guitarist Scott Steidley joins Bobby and Blair for this exciting worship experience.
In the morning, we will hear two selections from Max Reger’s Opus 59, a collection of twelve pieces for organ published in 1901. Pastorale is a trio from the first half of the collection, which comprises settings of traditional compositional forms such as a toccata, fugue, and intermezzo. The pastorale form itself is typically in a three meter over a drone-like bass and has often been associated with nature, specifically the Christmas story of the shepherds. Famous examples include the Pastoral Symphony from Handel’s Messiah and the third movement of Vivaldi’s Spring concerto (The Four Seasons). The second half of Opus 59 contains mostly liturgical pieces of which the final work will be offered, Te Deum. Based on the Gregorian Chant melody ascribed to the ancient Christian hymn of praise, Te Deum Laudamus (Thee, O God, we praise), the piece slowly crescendos to a grand Regerian finale.
Soprano Jennifer Stimson will offer a setting of Psalm 23, our scripture reading this Sunday, by composer David Childs.
At 6:00 p.m., Bobby, vocalist Blair Carpenter, and other familiar friends of Plymouth will present a Celtic-inspired selection of songs and musical offerings.
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
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.