‘Let Freedom Ring’ concert to honor veterans | TheUnion.com

‘Let Freedom Ring’ concert to honor veterans

The Union staff

For Veterans Day — and commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address — Camerata California (Chamber Choir) and the VITA Chamber Orchestra bring the program that resounded to critical acclaim in Sacramento last Memorial Day to three historic northern California venues, including Grass Valley.

"Let Freedom Ring," featuring music and poetry about America's 16th president, will be performed on Monday at the Veterans Memorial Building in Grass Valley.

VITA and Camerata Artistic Director and Conductor Pete Nowlen programmed the multifaceted concert with the idea of reviving an American masterpiece (George Frederick McKay's "Lincoln Lyrics") and presenting it alongside other inspiring works.

"This concert celebrates one of our greatest Americans and all who have sacrificed in the cause of freedom and (also) celebrates a historic occasion — the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address," Nowlen said in a press release.

"Lincoln Lyrics" is a choral cantata depicting scenes from the life of Lincoln. Popular in the 1940s, it faded from the repertoire during the experimentalist 1950s and 1960s. No recording of this American masterpiece exists, and last May's performance was the first in some 60 years.

The program also will include "Toward the Unknown Region" by Ralph Vaughan Williams using Walt Whitman's Civil War-era poem, "Darest Thou Now O Soul," and "Words of Lincoln" by Earlene Rentz, which will include excerpts from the Gettysburg Address;

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The concert concludes with two patriotic favorites, the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "America the Beautiful," and includes an opportunity for an audience sing-along.

The VITA Orchestra is a flexible ensemble that meets the performance needs of innovative programming and arts engagement activities.

In a truly collaborative approach, the ensemble includes top professionals as mentors and emerging professional (collegiate) performers together with top nonprofessional community players. Under the leadership of professional musicians, emerging artists receive support and guidance that helps them develop and experience music-making at its finest.

The Camerata California was formed in the year 2000 to promote the performance of classical vocal and instrumental music. The Camerata California has previously appeared with its own chamber orchestra, as well as with the Auburn Symphony, the Camellia Symphony, the Gold Country Chamber Orchestra and the Sacramento Ballet.

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