Not only will the popular Saturdays at 7 music series at St. Andrew’s United Church be returning this fall, but it will be augmented with an added attraction – the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.
Devon Hansen, St. Andrew’s music director, said the symphony, under the direction of Robert Franz, will be presenting Intimate Mozart on Oct. 16 and Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 4. The Friday performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to collaberate with WSO,” Hansen said. “The orchestra has an outstanding reputation. The people of Chatham are in for a treat.”
Hansen said the WSO’s performances in Chatham are even more meaningful since the London Sympony Orchestra, which performed at Kiwanis Theatre for many years, is currently on hiatus.
Shelley Sharpe, manager of communications at the WSO, said establishing a stronger presence in Chatham has been a goal of the organization.
“We’re hoping that this is the start of a wonderful relationship,” she said.
Approximately 24 musicians and the WSO chorus will be performing Messiah.
“Messiah is performed by a chamber-sized orchestra which is perfect for venues such as a beautiful older church,” she said.
Sharpe said noted soloists Kelsey Vicary (soprano), Marjorie Maltais (mezzo-soprano), Karim Suayman (tenor), and Michael Nyby (baritone) will perform.
St. Andrew’s reputation for providing uplifting music has been growing since 2013 with the Saturday night events being extremely popular.
“For $10, we have been able to provide a musical experience that can’t be duplicated locally,” he said. “It’s been very fulfilling to see the community respond.”
The 2015-16 series begins with a tour of Italy, entitled At the Opera on Nov. 21. The concert will highlight well-known songs from La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, Aida, and many more.
The second performance will be Sounds of the Season, Dec. 19, with the focus on many different “sounds of the season” that are part of many traditions. The show will showcase soloists from Canada and the United States. Also featured will be St. Andrew’s Chancel Choir with many guest choristers.
Frances and Friends will be held Feb. 6, 2016 featuring Associate Professor of Voice in the Department of Music from Wayne State University Frances Brockington.
Brockington is a native Detroiter and an award-winning singer. She is a champion of contemporary music, spirituals, and operatic repertoire. She has appeared with organizations such as the Michigan Opera Theatre, the Detroit Symphony, and the Great Lakes Lyric Opera.
The fourth concert, What Wonderous Love, will be held March 19
The concert will feature the full music program at St. Andrew’s as well as soloists from the Chatham-Kent area and beyond.
The highlight of the evening will be a performance of Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, with choir, soloists, and string orchestra as a prelude to Easter.
Denise Pelley in Concert will be held April 16 as she brings her unique jazz/ gospel style to Chatham. Pelley has performed with many great artists including acclaimed trombonist Ray Anderson, Gospel/Blues legend Jackie Richardson, and has opened for Aretha Franklin in London.
The series concludes with the Best of Brass on June 11, featuring
The Five Lakes Silver Band. This is an award-winning 30-piece brass band that resides in the Metro Detroit area.
Established in 2006, the group has grown in popularity, strength of musicianship, and leadership and is emerging as one of the leading brass bands in the country.