Westchester Choral Society

Our 77th Year - 2018-19

Welcome to our 2018-19 Season


Our 2018 Holiday Concert and 2019 Spring Concert


Holiday Concert

A Ceremony of Carols, Benjamin Britten        Holiday Favorites 

Saturday December 1st, 4:00 PM                      Rye Presbyterian Church, Rye, NY


The Music of Schubert and Brahms              Sunday May 19th, 3:00 PM                                The Chapel at Maryknoll, Ossining, NY                                   

Frank Nemhauser, Director

David Baranowski, Accompanist



Music Conservatory of Westchester 

216 Central Ave, White Plains, NY 10606



More about our 2018-19 Season

About the HOLIDAY music

Britten's A Ceremony of Carols

British composer Benjamin Britten wrote his cantata, A Ceremony of Carols, during World War II while he was crossing the Atlantic in 1942 aboard a cargo ship. Since then, the choral work has become a classical music staple during the Christmas season, particularly throughout English-speaking countries.

The cantata is made up of 11 movements: 10 with voice and one for solo harp. It was written originally for a three-part boys’ choir, with soloist and harp accompaniment, but is often performed by a women’s chorus. Some of the carols are in Latin; some are in Middle English based on poems from the 15th and 16th centuries. These texts were part of a collection edited by Gerald Bullett, The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems, and published in 1942.




Brahm's Nänie

Johannes Brahms completed his setting of Friedrich Schiller's poem Nänie, an elegy on the transience of life, in August 1881. The work was written in memory of his friend, the artist Anselm Feuerbach (1829-1880). He was drawn to the classical imagery of Schiller's verses partly because it evoked kinship with the idealized subjects of Feuerbach's paintings.

The poem released a flood of memories from Brahms's past, which he wove discreetly into the tonal fabric of the composition via an intricate web of allusive reference. In particular, poignant quotation of the 'Clara Emblem' from Robert Schumann's Fantasy, Op. 17, implies that the death of Felix Schumann (Brahms's godson) in 1879 was an additional source of inspiration for the work. 

Schubert Miriam's Song of Triumph

In the last year of his life, 1928, Schubert composed the oratorio Miriam's Song of Triumph describes the rejoicing of the Israelites after their deliverance from the Egyptians. It has thematic ties to Handel's Israelite oratorios. 

WSC Spring '18 concert a success

Despite the second year in a row of rain and chilly temperatures, our pre-Mother's Day Spring '18 concert was a well-attended success. The all-Rutter program featured an appealing combination of sweet and melodic folk songs from the British Isles, and a rousing original composition of the Latin Gloria



I do but sing because I must...
— Alfred Tennyson


Let's chat about singing.

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