COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

College Community Chorus

 


College Community Chorus – Students, alumni, staff, faculty, and community members join together to sing classical works alongside newly composed choral music and arrangements of traditional and popular songs, culminating in performances at the end of each semester. 


College Community Chorus in rehearsal

Students note that our 90-voice chorus provides a place to sing, to explore music together, and to make life-long friends with others from on- and off-campus. 

"I am so happy I decided to take choir. I would definitely recommend it! Singing allows students to decompress and re-contextualize their collegiate lives... I learned about the collaboration, patience, and self-awareness that is required to make collective art... I've learned how to read music, to work as part of a team, to train my own voice to fit a part, to take care of myself so that I can sing, and to value having friends in the community."

Open to all--high schoolers, college students, adults--who love to sing, without audition. Jeff Rehbach conducts, Tim Guiles accompanies.  Email rehbach@middlebury.edu for more information, or simply come to a rehearsal! 

**  IN-PERSON REHEARSALS ARE ON HOLD DUE TO COVID-19. **
We hope resume rehearsals in 2021 when a vaccination becomes available and it safe for our number of singers to gather indoors to rehearse.

At that time, join us for rehearsals in Mead Chapel each semester – no auditions – on Sundays or Tuesdays at 7pm. 

Most members attend both rehearsals each week, but if you can only make one, that's okay!
  Note: Students may optionally take Chorus for credit over two semesters as a fifth course, MUSC0205C. Those who do so must attend both rehearsals each week.


2020 concert season

College Community Chorus rehearsal

Spring 2020 Concerts

-- were not held due to COVID-19.


Fall 2020 Concerts

Saturday evening, Nov.21
7:00 pm
Robison Concert Hall 
Mahaney Arts Center, free

Sunday afternoon, Nov.22
3:00 pm
Robison Concert Hall
Mahaney Arts Center, free


Our Spring 2020 program
We had planned to celebrate conductor Jeff Rehbach's 20 years with the chorus, with favorite pieces from past performancessuggested by our singersin a special 90-minute concert!

College Community Chorus staff faculty studentsFrom among the hundreds of historical and contemporary choral works the community chorus has performed since the year 2000, our choir singers this January recommended numerous titles that they have particularly enjoyed. Jeff, in turn, selected over a dozen works for this spring's performances that weave together songs that give voice to the light that love and hope bring to our world. 

The choir will reprise music by Middlebury composers Peter Hamlin and Sam Guarnaccia that it has been honored to premiere and perform during the past two decades:  selections from Peter's Reflections of the Sky (written for the College bicentennial in 2000) that give expression to our dreams and the experience of life; and Sam's setting of Vida atrevida ("Courageous Life") written for Middlebury's Spanish Language School two years ago, that expresses gratitude for life in the world around us and love of one another.

The program will primarily feature works written from the mid-twentieth century through the beginning of the current century. They include songs of reflection and our place in the world, such as the serene setting of Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken by American composer Randall Thompson. In Sure on this Shining Night, Morten Lauridsen beautifully evokes the poetry of James Agee, as we find our hearts made whole amidst the wonder of a star-filled night. With sweeping melodies and harmonies, Randall Stroope portrays the strength of enduring love and faithfulness in Omnia Sol.

The choir will also sing some of its favorites from folk and world music traditions that portray the seasons of our lives, such as Paul Halley's lyrical choral arrangement of Pete Seeger's To My Old Brown Earth. A poem by Rudyard Kipling, The Seal Lullaby, gently captures the love a mother, in a setting Eric Whitacre composed for a motion picture score. Alongside the sounds of Enjura, an African song that welcomes rain in villages across the landscape, the chorus will sing Craig Hella Johnson's inspiring setting of Let the River Run by Carly Simon. We also will offer his delicately scored Requiem by Eliza Gilkyson, written to honor those whose lives have been lost in the midst of calamity.

We draw on historic texts that depict charity and love with the harmonically rich settings of Set Me as a Seal upon your Heart by Minnesota composer René Clausen and Ubi caritas et amor by Norwegian-American composer Ola Gjeilo. From the classical tradition, we sing of light eternal and peace in Lux aeterna from Mozart's Requiem.

In addition, continuing Jeff's commitment to performing recently written works, the choir will sing pieces by Vermont singer-songwriters who encourage resilience in our time: Stand in That River and Rise To It Now by New Haven native and Bristol resident Moira Smiley, and Hope Lingers On by Lissa Schneckenburger who lives in Brattleboro.

The program will conclude with Kanaval, an exhilarating work by Haitian-American composer Sydney Guillaume that celebrates community and the joy of life.


Middlebury's Annual Messiah Sing

Dec. 22, 2019, at 2:00pm at the Middlebury Congregational Church (corner of Route 7 and Main St.)
Dec. 20, 2020, at 2:00pm at the Middlebury Congregational Church (corner of Route 7 and Main St.)  -- LIKELY TO BE RESCHEDULED DUE TO COVID-19.

For thirty-five years, friends and neighbors travel to downtown Middlebury to participate in the Messiah Sing, sponsored by the College Community Chorus and led by its conductor, Jeff Rehbach.

Once again this year the tradition continues! Music scores are provided (or bring your own!) for singers; if you play a string instrument, flute/oboe, bassoon, or baroque trumpet, orchestra parts are also available at the reading. Donation requested at the door ($5-10 adult / $10-20 family).

In addition to choruses, some of the arias from the work are sung by members of our community and college faculty and alumni, including, during the past years, sopranos Jessica Allen, Leila McVeigh and Grace Weber; altos Erin Grainger, Louise Whalen Wright, and Heidi Willis; tenors Adam Hall, Joshua Collier, and François Clemmons; baritone and basses Jeff Buettner, Jack DesBois, Jonathon Landell, Joe McVeigh, and Jim Wright. The College Community Chorus provides refreshments for a wonderful afternoon of community music.

For more information, contact Jeff Rehbach at rehbach@middlebury.edu or 802.989.7355 (feel free to leave a message).

Choral selections at the reading often include:
And the glory of the Lord
And he shall purify
O thou that tellest good tidings
For unto us a child is born
Glory to God
Surely he hath borne our griefs
All we like sheep
Lift up your heads
Hallelujah
Since by man came death
But thanks, thanks be to God 
Worthy is the Lamb...Blessing and honor...Amen


Department of Music

Mahaney Center for the Arts
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753