Orcas Choral Society will perform two 19th Century masses, one famous, one rediscovered, on April 23 and 24 at the Orcas Center. The 1826 Missa Solemnis in C by Alois Storch will highlight the day, complemented by the much-loved Mass in G by Franz Schubert.
This will be the first performance of the Missa Solemnis in modern times. “Storch was a pharmacist,” Artistic Director Roger Sherman said. “But it is obvious that music was his passion. There are outbursts of creativity and artistic expression throughout this setting.”
“Written in 1815, Schubert’s Mass in G is an interesting companion to the Storch,” Sherman said. The Mass in G was composed in less than a week, when Schubert was only 18 years old, yet it has become one of his most popular works.
Both the music and performers are tied to Orcas Island. Alois Storch is the great-great-great-grandfather of Aloysia Friedmann, Founder and Artistic Director of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. Numerous brief solos in both works will be sung Orcas Choral Society singers over the three performances. Longer tenor solos will be sung by Stephen Rumph, Associate Professor of Music History at the University of Washington. Rumph will be well-known to fans of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. He specializes in music of the German Romantics and has presented audience lectures on this topic for OICMF. He is also a gifted singer.
Soloists include: soprano Sharon Abreu; soprano Naomi Aldort; alto Catherine Ellis; alto Ginni Keith; tenor Stephen Rumph; bass John Heath; and bass Mac Langford.
About half the members of the 20-piece orchestra are also island musicians. These will be Sherman’s final concerts as the choral society’s artistic director.
Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 23 and 2 p.m., Sunday, April 24 at the Orcas Center, 917 Mt. Baker Rd., Eastsound. Tickets at $15, $5 for students, are available at www.orcaschoralsociety.org, www.orcascenter.org, or at the Orcas Center box office. The choral society will repeat the concert at St. Mark’s Cathedral, 1245, 10th Ave., East, Seattle, at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 1.
No tickets are needed for the Seattle concert, but donations will be gladly accepted.