10-12-11-cumberland-oratorio-logo.jpgIt’s been 20 years since the Cumberland Oratorio Singers debuted in Fayetteville. It’s been 20 years of high quality performances and entertainment and 20 years of fun. On Oct. 14, the Cumberland Oratorio Singers open their 2011/2012 season with A Concert of German Masters: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.

“This is the first performance of our season,” said Maureen Yearby, of the Cumberland Oratorio Singers. “It is the German Master Composers — about 1/2 of the concert will be presented in German as it was written by the composers. A few peices will be sung in English.”

Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Hallelujah,” from Christ on the Mount of Olives is the first number in the line-up. It’s a piece that is set in the garden of Gethsemane right before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and explores the emotional turmoil that Jesus must have felt at the time. The piece is often considered more dramatic than religious. The piece ends when Jesus personally accepts his fate and focuses on the fact that it was a personal decision.

The concert ends with Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140,” a chorale contata which is also known as “Sleeper’s Wake.” Based on Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme by Philipp Nicolai, this hymn has been translated into English and enjoys popularity in English and German. The piece is about the parable of the ten virgins in the book of Matthew of the Bible.

The rest of the season promises to be well rounded and packed with great entertainment too.

On Dec. 4, the annual performance of Messiah Sing! Will be performed at First Presbyterian Church. This classic is always fun for the audience because citizens of Fayetteville are invited to join the chorus on stage and sing with them.

On March 24, the Cumberland Oratorio Singers team up with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, area university and community choirs to perform “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125” at Reeve’s Auditorium. Other works to be performed are “Ode to Joy,” The group of choirs is called The Spring Festival Chorus and plans to work together in the future to make collaborative choral works a tradition in the community.

Let Your Light Shine is the last performance of the season and will take place on May 11 at St. Ann Catholic Church. They will perform Lux Aeterna by Morton Lauridson. “The concept of light is very powerful in both poetry and song. The five movements of Lux Aeterna are based on various references to light from sacred Latin texts. The power and finesse of Lux Aeterna will speak to each of us in its own way,” says the Cumberland Oratorio Singers website.

The concert is at Highland Presbyterian Church. It begins at 7:30 p.m.

“We love to have students in attendance,” said Yearby. “In fact, students of all ages are admitted free of charge. That has always been our commitment to the community. We take very serioulsly trying tp spread the love of classical choral music and trying to make sure that we expose younger genreations to the genre to inspire them to participate when they grow up and to introduce them to the classiscs.

Visit http://cumberlandoratoriosingers.org to find out more about the Cumberland Oratorio Singers.

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