Arts & Culture In & Around St. Charles June

Friday, June 10, 2011

Opportunities for participation in, and enjoyment of, music exist in Charles County and are readily available right in the St. Charles area. By now, I hope many of you have taken the opportunity to enjoy the Sunset Concert Festival’s diverse musical offerings on Friday evenings.  If not, don’t fear!  The concerts continue through Labor Day, so you have many more FREE concerts ahead of you. The St. Charles website has the entire schedule listed, so be sure to check it out.

Regarding music, did you know that there is a local community chorus here in Charles County?  The group is called the Chesapeake Choral Arts Society (CCAS).  It is a nonprofit arts organization that was formed in 1996 to provide an opportunity for residents of Charles County and Southern Maryland to sing and perform complex choral compositions.  The group strives to bring excellent choral music to a variety of audiences of all ages in Southern Maryland though concerts, collaborations with other music groups, and performances for community organizations.  By focusing on musical masterworks from the past to the present, audiences and performers have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of and appreciation for the choral music art form.

The CCAS prepares three different concerts each year: a Christmas concert, a springtime “Pops” concert, and an end-of-season formal concert.

This season they performed “A Renaissance Christmas,” a Broadway “Pops” concert, and are ready to perform their formal concert, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem." Incidentally, it’s the Southern Maryland Premiere of this particular work.  What’s more?  It will be performed right in Waldorf at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, 100 Village Street in the Smallwood Shopping Center area on Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 3:30 p.m.

Andrew Lloyd Webber?  Gee, that name sounds familiar.  That’s because he is the composer of such popular musical theatre works as “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and more.  But Andrew Lloyd Webber is also the composer of this more classical masterpiece. Webber’s "Requiem" won the "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" Grammy Award in 1986, and is a powerful but infrequently performed piece.  A "Requiem" is, in essence, a musical composition performed in honor of a deceased person. Webber's "Requiem" was inspired, in part, by the death of his father, William, a church organist, composer, and Director of the London College of Music for 18 years. The work combines the classical Requiem text, but is, at times, accompanied by more contemporary Latin rhythms.

The Chesapeake Choral Arts Society’s performance of Webber’s “Requiem” will include soloists, chorus, and orchestra, and it takes place right here in the St. Charles area!  So, plan on indulging your love of choral music, or experiencing something new for yourself, without the expense of filling the gas tank yet again.

The CCAS is always looking for new members, too, so give it some consideration if you are someone who loves to sing!

For more information on the Chesapeake Choral Arts Society, or to purchase tickets to the upcoming concert ONLINE, visit the CCAS website.