Arts & Entertainment

Using Nature as Inspiration, Masterwork Chorus Presents 'Forest and Vale' Feb. 20

Music Director Chris Shepard made his Carnegie Hall debut as the Masterwork Chorus performed Handel's Messiah. Credits: William Winburn

SUMMIT, NJ - The Masterwork Chorus will explore themes of nature in a performance entitled Forest and Vale February 20. beginning at 8 p.m., at Calvary Episcopal Church. Music Director Chris Shepard will leads the 100-voice chorus with noted accompanist Carol Walker at the piano.

In Blakesongs, Richard Charlton sets five of William Blake’s much-loved poems including “The Tyger” and “To See the World in a Grain of Sand.”  Both highlight the Blake's fascination with experience and industrialization and their impact on innocence.

The lyrics for Ralph Vaughan Williams’ cantata, In Windsor Forest, come from Elizabethan literature - Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and poems of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. Although this piece initially appears to strike a mood of joy and exuberance, at its conclusion it admonishes the listener that “all the world is a play.”

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The final work on the program, Frostiana by Randall Thompson, celebrates the poetry of Robert Frost. From the simplicity of “The Road not Taken,” to the richness of the men’s voices in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, “ to the spiritual message of “Choose Something like a Star,” these lyrics and their Randall Thompson settings are intended to warm listeners’  hearts.

Tickets, priced at $25 adults and $12 students, can be purchased by visiting, and are also available at the door. In honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial, fourth graders are invited to attend for free.

Calvary Episcopal Church is located at 31 Woodland Avenue.

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