The Tudor Choir

 

2366 Eastlake Ave. E., Suite 335, Seattle, WA 98102

Tel  (206) 323-9415    Fax  (206) 860-9151

Email  info@tudorchoir.org    Website  www.tudorchoir.org

                       Doug Fullington, Artistic Director     Dawn Elwell, General Manager

 

January 4, 2005                                                                  Contact: Dawn Elwell, General Manager

FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE                                                                       (206) 323-9415

 

The Tudor Choir performs candle-lit concert of English and Irish chant and choral works for the medieval feast of Candlemas

 

Candlemas

 

WHAT:           The Tudor Choir presents

Candlemas, a medieval feast of fire and light

With Rebekah Gilmore, soprano

 

WHEN &        Saturday, February 25, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:         St. Mark’s Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave. E., Seattle 98102

                       

WHEN &        Sunday, February 26, 2006 at 3:00 p.m.

WHERE:         St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 8398 NE 12th, Medina 98039

 

TICKETS:      $25 general admission; $20 seniors; $15 students

ORDER ONLINE at www.tudorchoir.org or call the Tudor Choir at (206) 323-9415

 

 

The Tudor Choir presents CANDLEMAS, an atmospheric, candle-lit program of English and Irish chant, English Renaissance choral works and world premiere settings by Seattle composer Jeff Junkinsmith. Doug Fullington will conduct the 12-voice Tudor Choir in this program that features soprano Rebekah Gilmore performing medieval Irish chant recounting the life of Saint Brigit of Ireland.

 

CANDLEMAS will be performed on Saturday, February 25 at 8:00 pm at St. Mark’s Cathedral on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, and on Sunday, February 26 at 3:00 pm at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Medina. Tickets are $25 for regular admission, $20 for seniors, and $15 for students, and may be purchased online at www.tudorchoir.org or from the Tudor Choir office by calling (206) 323-9415. Group rates are available. On Saturday, February 25 at 7:00 pm, a free pre-concert lecture about CANDLEMAS will be given by Tudor Choir artistic director Doug Fullington.  The beautiful acoustics and visual grandeur of St. Marks Cathedral make a breathtaking setting for these masterworks of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Medina is sure to provide a more intimate and "up-close" but equally thrilling experience for the audience.

 

About CANDLEMAS

 

Celebrated each year on February 2nd, Candlemas was a medieval festival of the Church that encompassed several observances and also had roots in the pre-Christian age. Originally brought from the East by monks fleeing the Moslem invasion of the Holy Land in the seventh century, Candlemas celebrates three events described in chapter two of St. Luke’s Gospel (22-35): the presentation of Christ, the first-born son of Mary and Joseph, to the Temple in order to be dedicated to God in conformity with Jewish law; the ceremonial purification, by way of an offering, of Mary following the birth of her child; and the prophecies of Simeon and Anna upon seeing Jesus in the Temple.

 

The English liturgical observances that developed around this multi-faceted feast were elaborate and luxurious, and over time a rich body of music was composed to add beauty and grandeur to the occasion. The first half of the CANDLEMAS program is anchored by two monumental choral settings of Candlemas responsory chantsVidete miraculum by Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585) and Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria by John Sheppard (c.1515-1558) – separated by Tallis’s 5-voice setting of the Candlemas hymn Quod chorus vatum, which alternates chant and choral verses.

 

Celebrated forty days after Christmas Day, Candlemas conveniently fell on the pre-Christian festival of Imbolc, the celebration of the coming of Spring. Brigit, the Irish goddess of fire, was closely associated with Imbolc. Christian tradition transformed her into Saint Brigit and legends of her “fire miracles” elevated her to high status. The second half of the CANDLEMAS program will include medieval Irish chant, performed by soprano Rebekah Gilmore, recounting St. Brigit’s miracles and telling of her great acclaim. The chants will alternate with world-premiere settings of Candlemas propers (Latin texts from the Mass for Candlemas) composed specially for the Tudor Choir by Seattle composer Jeff Junkinsmith.

 

These performances of CANDLEMAS are sponsored in part by Washington State Arts Commission. The Tudor Choir’s 2005-2006 season is sponsored in part by KING-FM. Additional seasonal support provided by ArtsFund.

 

Program

* denotes solo performed by Rebekah Gilmore, soprano

 

CHANT: Letabundus

TALLIS, Thomas: Videte miraculum

CHANT: Symeon justus*

TALLIS: Quod chorus vatum

CHANT: Magnum hereditatis*

SHEPPARD, John: Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria

 

Intermission

 

SHEPPARD: Salvator mundi, Domine

CHANT: Adest dies leticie*

JUNKINSMITH, Jeff: Introit – Suscepimus Deus (world premiere)

CHANT: Hanc de Brittania*

JUNKINSMITH: Gradual & Alleluia – Suscepimus misericordiam tuam (world premiere)

CHANT: Felix Hiberniam*

JUNKINSMITH: Offertory – Diffusa est gratia (world premiere)

CHANT: Virgo decorator*

JUNKINSMITH: Communion – Responsum accepit Symeon (world premiere)

CHANT: Christo canamus gloriam*

PACKE, Thomas: Lumen ad revelationem gentium

 

About the Artists

 

The Tudor Choir The Tudor Choir is a professional vocal chamber ensemble founded in 1993 by Artistic Director Doug Fullington. The group maintains a flexible membership of between 8 and 40 singers and specializes in the performance of Renaissance, early American and English choral music. As Artists-in-Residence at St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, and a Resident Ensemble at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Medina, the choir presents an annual subscription series and has performed under guest conductors including Peter Phillips, Paul Hillier, Andrew Parrott, Stephen Cleobury and Martin Haselböck. The choir also has made guest appearances with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Early Music Guild of Seattle, Seattle Baroque, and in conjunction with Seattle Opera. The choir's recordings of Tudor polyphony, English carols and early American music have been released on the Loft Recordings label.

 

Rebekah Gilmore (soprano) serves as full-time Minister of Music at Grace Lutheran Church in Wenatchee, Washington. She moved to Washington in 2001 following her graduation from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. She maintains a private studio of voice and flute students and jams with area musicians on her tin whistle. Rebekah has sung with the Tudor Choir since 1993. She enjoys Irish step dancing, rollerblading, reading, gardening, and hiking with her golden retriever, Gilbert.

 

Seattle composer Jeff Junkinsmith has written extensively for choirs including several pieces that have become standard repertoire for the Compline Choir of St. Mark's Cathedral. In response to a 2000 commission from the Tudor Choir, Dr. Junkinsmith composed the anthem Sancta Maria, mater dei, which was premiered in 2001. Subsequently, he made the propers for the service of Candlemas at the request of Tudor Choir director Doug Fullington. Junkinsmith's most recent composition is a three-movement work for piano four hands entitled Rashomon, which will be performed by piano duos in Poland, Brazil and Lithuania in the coming year. Junkinsmith holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Iowa and currently teaches music theory and chairs the music department at Shoreline Community College.