Singers and concert-goers, alike, will have several opportunities to join the Westchester Oratorio Society during the holiday season beginning this Sunday when the group holds its first annual "Scratch Messiah," –an audience participation sing-along of the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah" at St. Luke's Church in Somers at 3 PM.
The society's artistic director and conductor, Benjamin Niemczyk, will lead the chorus together with audience members in a sing-through of Part One of the work, including many of the most popular solos and the Hallelujah Chorus. Singers are encouraged to bring their Schirmer scores, though scores will also be available. Admission includes light refreshments.
The following Saturday, December 8, 2012, the oratorio society will be appearing as part of the holiday festivities at Muscoot Farm in Somers in a sing-along of seasonal favorites. The program, which begins at 5 PM, is free. Muscoot Farm is located at 51 NY Route 100 Katonah, NY 10536. More information about the Farm’s upcoming schedule is available by calling (914) 864-7282 or visiting www.muscootfarm.org.
As the new year begins, on Saturday evening, January 5, 2013, the Society will hold a fundraising soiree at Muscoot Farm, entitled "From the Earl of Grantham to the Duke of Ellington," to help usher in the third season of the PBS hit series Downton Abbey. The event is a cocktail party in the Farm’s Main House featuring food from “The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook”, music and other live entertainment (period costumes welcome, but optional). Tickets are $50 per person and available on the Society’s website.
Avocational singers in all voices are welcome to join the group for its spring season, which includes a chamber concert at the Chappaqua Library on March 10 and a special concert on June 2, 2013 in Cross River, New York with a program of works by Beethoven and Brahms and features Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy" performed by the internationally renowned pianist Helene Grimaud. The concert is a memorial for Robert C. McDonald, who after his retirement from IBM did work for both the Westchester Oratorio Society and the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, the latter organization was founded by Ms. Grimaud.
Westchester Oratorio Society rehearses on Tuesday evenings in Katonah. Competent singers in all voices with an ability to read music are welcomed. For information on singing with the group e-mail WestchesterOratorio@Gmail.com or visit the group's website.