May 24--The St. Louis Chamber Chorus concludes its 2013-14 season, "The Ancients Speak" on Sunday, and, looking forward, has announced its 2014-2015 season. The theme for the SLCC's 59th season is "Choral Titans;" artistic director Philip Barnes has paired two major and contrasting composers for each concert.
The season opens Oct. 5 at the St. Louis Abbey with "Mendelssohn & Judith Bingham," featuring motets from Mendelssohn and the world premiere of a major new work by Bingham, one of Britain's most celebrated contemporary composers.
The second concert, on Nov. 9, focuses on two Latin American composers. The first is Juan GutiÉrrez de Padilla (ca. 1590 -- 1664), a Spaniard who settled in what is now Mexico; the second is the Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959). The performance will take place at St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church in St. Louis.
The annual Christmas concert, on Dec. 21, will take advantage of the acoustic and architecture of First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood and of the vocal splendors of the music of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525-1594) and Herbert Howells (1892-1983).
Compositions by Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) and Henry Purcell (1659-1695) will fill the nave of Christ Church Cathedral on Feb. 15, while the Hungarian ZoltÁn KodÁly (1882-1967) and Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) will offer contrasts from the same era at the traditionally Hungarian St. Mary of Victories Roman Catholic Church in downtown St. Louis.
The season will conclude on May 31 with the American colonial composer William Billings (1746-1800) and British ex-pat Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012) at Union Avenue Christian Church.
The SLCC is one of the country's finest a cappella choirs. To learn more, call 636-458-4343, or visit chamberchorus.org. To Sunday's concert, "The Ancients Speak Old Church Slavonic," takes place at 3 p.m. at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church, 1413 North 20th Street.
Sarah Bryan Miller is the Post-Dispatch's classical music critic. Follow Bryan on the Culture Club blog, and on Twitter at @SBMillerMusic.
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