Together We Sing: 20 Years of Halalisa
April 28, 2013
Boston’s world music ensemble The Halalisa Singers celebrates 20 years of music making with a gala concert featuring newly commissioned works by Brian Tate and Mystic Chorale director/Halalisa founder Nick Page. Performances April 27, 7:30 p.m. in Lexington, and April 28, 3 p.m. at First Church Unitarian, 19 Foster St., Littleton.
Reflecting the inspiration and joy that comes from singing together, and the transformative power of music, both of the commissioned songs are titled “We Sing.” Artistic director Mary Neumann’s program centers on celebratory themes of singing in community, helping each other through good times and bad, and the sheer beauty of choral singing.
Gwenyth Walker’s arrangement of “How Can I Keep from Singing” emphasizes the life-affirming aspects of the Quaker hymn, William Billings’s early American “Modern Musick” offers an amusing take on psalm singing, Oscar Galian’s wordless, percussive “Salseo” captures the jubilant spirit of Latin American music, and Randall Thompson’s choral classic “Allelulia” allows the chorus to show a quiet, introspective side. The women folkify the concert with a sweet harmonic rendition of Ruth Moody’s “One Voice,” while the men go doo-wop in an arrangement of Billy Joel’s “Longest Time.” The program also features “Kaki Lambe” Brian Tate’s arrangement of a West African ritual dance from Senegal, traditional Japanese folk song “Hotaru Koi,” Daniel Gawthorp’s lush “One Voice,” the Itneg chant “Iddem-dem Malida,” Rollo Dilworth’s gospel-tinged “Hand in Hand,” the traditional Jewish dance “Haida,” the Mbuti “Rainforest Chant,” and Nick Page’s “Gwaza Universe.” The entire audience will be invited to join in the singing fun in Jim Scott’s “Now Let Us Sing.”