Premier of ‘Paintings in Song’ planned in Kent
Updated 12:00 am, Monday, March 27, 2017
In collaboration with the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts, the Berkshire Children’s Chorus and the Berkshire-based composer John Myers, Crescendo will perform the world premiere of Myers’ “Paintings in Song—Visions of Norman Rockwell,” a multimedia work with choruses, instrumentalists, and graphic animation.
Performances will be held April 1 at 3 and 7 p.m. at Saint James Place, 352 Main St., Great Barrington, and April 2 at 4 p.m. at Mattison Auditorium at Kent School, Route 341, in Kent.
In addition, the Norman Rockwell Museum will host a panel discussion and pre-concert talk with composer Myers, Crescendo’s artistic director, Christine Gevert, and documentary producer Rich Bradway March 18 at 5:30 p.m.
Myers’ work celebrates Rockwell’s timeless images in a musical setting and highlights the continued relevance of the cultural values represented in Rockwell’s paintings.
Myers based his composition on the iconic “Four Freedoms” and five other paintings by Rockwell.
His music reflects the subject of each painting as well as the music style of the time period in which it was created. The texts of the choral pieces use the titles, images and embedded texts of the paintings, supplemented by original lyrics written by Myers. It is believed that this is the first extended work for chorus inspired by the paintings of Norman Rockwell.
Myers’ music is accompanied by simultaneous large-screen projected animations based on each of the paintings.
The museum has provided critical conceptual and interpretive support in the realization of the animations.
The concept of community, and especially multi-generational community, is important to Rockwell’s work
The Berkshire Children’s Chorus plays a key role in expressing Rockwell’s portrayals of childhood, families, and life in the Berkshires.
The full concert will include selections of traditional American folk songs arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw.
Parker, a distinguished composer, choral arranger, conductor and Berkshires’ resident, suggested a repertoire that would complement the themes evoked in the Rockwell paintings.
Following the premiere performances, the work will be presented in schools and museums around the region, and will reach a wider audience through film and CD recording.
A documentary video is being created, which will be a tool for future educational and community outreach events.
For more information and tickets, visit www.worldclassmusic.org