Blanche Moyse Chorale performs Sacred songs of Schutz, Mendelssohn comprise ‘Make a Joyful Noise’


BRATTLEBORO -- The Blanche Moyse Chorale will make a joyful noise with performances of sacred works by the German composers Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) and Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). The program, titled "Make a Joyful Noise," will be performed on Friday, at 8 p.m., at the Immanuel Episcopal Church in Bellows Falls and on Sunday at 3 p.m., at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., Brattleboro.

Under the direction of Mary Westbrook-Geha, the Chorale will treat its audiences to a rich selection of a cappella works by Schütz, from the heart of the Baroque period, and by Mendelssohn, from the heart of the Romantic period.

The selected texts used by both composers are similar -- either psalms or shorter biblical excerpts -- but their musical settings are strikingly different. The contrast between their dynamic, harmonic and polyphonic treatment opens a fascinating window into the cultural evolution that took place over the two centuries between the composers’ births.

The concert’s title, "Make a Joyful Noise," is derived from the text of Psalm 100, which appears twice in the program, in contrasting musical interpretations by both Mendelssohn and Schütz.

The Blanche Moyse Chorale, founded in 1978 as a program of the Brattleboro Music Center, is a chamber chorus of approximately 30 singers, who strive to attain the high level of musical artistry exemplified by its original director, Blanche Moyse.

For many years, the Chorale was the choral arm of the New England Bach Festival. Since 2007, director Mary Westbrook-Geha has led the Chorale in concerts of works by Handel, Copland, Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, Britten, Palestrina, Schütz, Brahms, and of course J.S. Bach. Although based in the Brattleboro area, the Chorale includes singers from neighboring states and beyond.

Concert tickets purchased in advance are $18 for general seating or $35 for preferred seating, and may be obtained from the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523, at or, or from Chorale members.

Tickets purchased at the door are $20 for general seating or $40 for preferred seating. All student tickets (college included) are $10. Both venues are handicapped-accessible. For any special seating needs, advance reservation is appreciated.

Performances are sponsored by Vermont Public Radio.

For more information, call the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523 or visit


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