Songs that shine divine light
The Renaissance Singers are singing their way towards the light in an upcoming performance of choral music.
The programme will feature five local composers with a theme of light, said conductor Guy Donaldson.
‘‘It is the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Church and there had been a request for music that might reflect that. So I started off with Bach and that set me thinking about things that would fit around that and I came to a theme of light.’’
The Renaissance Singers were formed over 40 years ago and Donaldson said they have always been dedicated to old and new music with a speciality being unaccompanied singing. This concert, he said, would be a mixture.
‘‘The concert begins with the complexity and intellectual weight of Bach and gradually lightens in tone.’’
Local composer and choir member Tim Devlin has created a piece, Come Home Again, which is a cross between folk and sacred idioms. His composition, he said, had also emerged into the light after being hidden away in his drawer.
‘‘It’s a christian love song, but instead of us singing about our love for Christ, he’s singing to us. It’s an interesting reversal from what you’d expect.’’
Deviln said the piece would be having its concert premiere in the Renaissance Singers performance and that going through the process of putting it on stage had been exciting.
‘‘It is a lovely experience. You have an idea of what it will be like but once it’s down on paper I don’t know any more about it than anyone else does, so it’s interesting to hear how people take it and what the voices do with it.’’
Conductor Kirsten Clark has composed a traditional Irish Blessing, and choir patron Graham Parsons, a new piece called Light to the Eye. Helen Caskie, a former patron of the choir, and Julian Gairdner have also composed Christmas pieces.
Donaldson thought because the concert fell six months before Christmas, some festive pieces could be included.
‘‘There will also be a chamber orchestra featuring some of the best of local musicians accompanying four of the pieces, including extracts from oratorio and opera.’’
The Renaissance Singers’ performance will be held on Saturday, 7.30pm, at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.
The Renaissance Singers prepare for their upcoming performance.