“I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that.” – Paul McCartney

May 2017

May 19, 8:00 pm
May Festival Chorus (Markus Stenz, conductor)
“Ode to Joy”
The 2017 Festival opens with a May Festival Premiere: Walter Braunfels Te Deum, music that powerfully articulates the German Composer’s spiritual journey upon his return from the front line in the First World War. Beethoven’s remarkable “Ode to Joy” Symphony No. 9 is among the best-loved symphonies of all time and an anthem to the dreams of all humankind to join together as one. Taft Theater, 317 E. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. Ticket Information: CSO Box Office 513 381-3300. www.mayfestival.com


May 20, 7:00 pm
Cincinnati Choral Society (Phil Clary, conductor)
“The Poet Speaks:  A Choral Presentation of Great Poetry”
Local fans will have an opportunity to hear the Cincinnati Choral Society (CCS), one of the greater Cincinnati area’s premier auditioned choruses, in two performances of their May 2017 concerts. The 40-voice auditioned chorus, under the direction of Philip Clary, will present selections from the choral repertoire with texts that are great poetry in their own right. The centerpiece of the concerts will be Frostiana (Seven Country Songs), poems of Robert Frost, set to music by Randall Thompson. This 30-minute set will be accompanied by a professional chamber orchestra.

A special feature of the concerts will be the premiere of “Have You Ever Seen a Ray of Sunlight?”. The text is by Mercedes Goldberg, a senior at Anderson High School whose poem was the winner of the recent CCS Poetry Writing Competition. This new work has been set to music by Jordan Lenchitz, a Cincinnati native, studying Music Composition at IU, Bloomington. Additional works include poems by Shakespeare, Dickinson, Burns, and Yeats; additional composers include Lauridsen, Rutter, Mulholland, and Irving Berlin. Mason United Methodist Church, 6315 Mason Montgomery Rd., Mason, OH  45040. Tickets: $10 in advance on line, $15 at the door. Seniors & students: $12. Children 12 and under are free. www.cincinnatichoralsociety.org/?page_id=833

May 20, 7:00 pm
Harrison VOCE (Karen Schweinfest, conductor)
“Unity: A Condition of Harmony”
A condition of harmony, this is the definition of Unity. No matter who you are, where you come from, your ethnicity, or your social standing, we all want the same thing: Unity and Peace. Let the music of VOCE lift your spirits and celebrate life in all of its struggles and victories. We want you to leave with a feeling of peace and harmony and go out and spread the love into your everyday world. We can’t wait to unite you with our harmonies. Martin Marietta Theater in the Harrison High School Activity Center, 9999 West Road, Harrison, OH 45030. Tickets: $8, available online at www.harrisonvoce.org, or in person at FCN Bank and The Village Pharmacy in Harrison.

May 20, 7:00 pm
MUSE (Bradley Kauffman, conductor)
“WELCOME!”
MUSE, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir invites you to her 34th Annual Spring Concert entitled WELCOME! Under the direction of Interim Director Bradley Kauffman, MUSE explores immigration through reconciling with the past, modern hospitality, and expansive patriotism. Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, 103 William Howard Taft Road. Tickets range from $10-$20. Early bird pricing available online through May 13. Ticket and info at www.musechoir.org

May 20, 8:00 pm
May Festival Chorus & May Festival Youth Chorus (Matthew Halls, conductor)
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
This concert will launch a Dream Project with Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a rare moment to hear the gorgeous incidental music performed in its entirety.  In this re-imagining of the May Festival experience, actors and spoken word enhance the drama of Shakespeare’s play as it blooms through and between the music.

Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
Vaughan Williams: Three Shakespeare Songs
Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Taft Theater, 317 E. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. Ticket Information: CSO Box Office 513 381-3300. www.mayfestival.com


May 21, 2:00 pm
MUSE (Bradley Kauffman, conductor)
“WELCOME!”
MUSE, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir invites you to her 34th Annual Spring Concert entitled WELCOME! Under the direction of Interim Director Bradley Kauffman, MUSE explores immigration through reconciling with the past, modern hospitality, and expansive patriotism. Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, 103 William Howard Taft Road. Tickets range from $10-$20. Early bird pricing available online through May 13. Ticket and info at www.musechoir.org

May 21, 3:00 pm
Cincinnati Choral Society (Phil Clary, conductor)
“The Poet Speaks:  A Choral Presentation of Great Poetry”
Local fans will have an opportunity to hear the Cincinnati Choral Society (CCS), one of the greater Cincinnati area’s premier auditioned choruses, in two performances of their May 2017 concerts. The 40-voice auditioned chorus, under the direction of Philip Clary, will present selections from the choral repertoire with texts that are great poetry in their own right. The centerpiece of the concerts will be Frostiana (Seven Country Songs), poems of Robert Frost, set to music by Randall Thompson. This 30-minute set will be accompanied by a professional chamber orchestra.

A special feature of the concerts will be the premiere of “Have You Ever Seen a Ray of Sunlight?”. The text is by Mercedes Goldberg, a senior at Anderson High School whose poem was the winner of the recent CCS Poetry Writing Competition. This new work has been set to music by Jordan Lenchitz, a Cincinnati native, studying Music Composition at IU, Bloomington. Additional works include poems by Shakespeare, Dickinson, Burns, and Yeats; additional composers include Lauridsen, Rutter, Mulholland, and Irving Berlin. St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 100 Miami Ave., Terrace Park, OH  45174. Tickets: $10 in advance on line, $15 at the door. Seniors & students: $12. Children 12 and under are free. www.cincinnatichoralsociety.org/?page_id=833

May 21, 8:00 pm
May Festival Chorus (Robert Porco, conductor)
May Festival Youth Chorus (James Bagwell, conductor)
“Basilica Concert”
It’s a tradition—each May we fill the gorgeous Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption with song. This year’s sublime performance spans four centuries, from joyful music by Palestrina, Handl and Viadana, to heartfelt work by Mendelssohn and Brahms, to Bach’s profound message of hope. This concert showcases the May Festival Youth Chorus and the May Festival Chamber Choir. Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, 1101 Madison Ave., Covington, KY 41011. Ticket Information: CSO Box Office 513 381-3300. www.mayfestival.com


May 26, 8:00 pm
May Festival Chorus (Michael Francis, conductor)
“The Dream of Gerontius”
Based on the poetry of John Henry Newman, The Dream of Gerontius spans the full range of human emotion-from prayerful longing to searing intensity-made fuller and richer through the visual landscape of the Dream Project. Conductor Michael Francis, known for championing the music of his native England, leads this monumental work-music that was performed for May Festival audiences in 1906 with the composer himself conducting. Taft Theater, 317 E. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. Ticket Information: CSO Box Office 513 381-3300. www.mayfestival.com


May 27, 8:00 pm
May Festival Chorus (Harry Bicket, conductor)
“Bach: B Minor Mass”
Harry Bicket, a celebrated interpreter of Baroque repertoire, joins with an exceptional cast to conduct a work that is the pinnacle of that period, Bach’s B Minor Mass. From its elaborate choral fugue on the Kyrie text and the intricate intertwining of voices in the “Crucifixus,” to the explosive “Et resurrexit” and the vigorous “Hosanna in excelsis,” to the exquisitely soaring “Amen,” this music is perhaps the finest expression of the choral Mass ever written-a masterwork for all times in the hands of a true master. Taft Theater, 317 E. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. Ticket Information: CSO Box Office 513 381-3300. www.mayfestival.com