The Keene Chorale

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TKC Press Release | Bernstein Expert Allen Shawn to Discuss Bernstein’s Mass

In preparation for its May performance of Bernstein’s Mass, The Keene Chorale will host a conversation with Allen Shawn, author of Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician (Yale University Press, 2014) and Chorale conductor and music director Cailin Marcel Manson. The conversation will take place in Norma Walker Hall in the Keene State College Alumni Center at 3 pm on Sunday, April 7, 2019. The event is free and open to the public.

Shawn, a member of the music faculty at Bennington College, is a composer, pianist, author, and leading Bernstein scholar. His understanding of Bernstein’s legacy as a 20th century composer, conductor, and educator will guide this conversation of Bernstein’s eclectic work, Mass: a Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers. The Keene Chorale is in rehearsal now for a performance on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond at Keene State College. The performance will honor the 40th  anniversary season of The Chorale and the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth.

Mass, composed for the dedication of the Kennedy Center in 1971, is a study in social unrest. Its themes of faith, social conflict, and doubt speak to today’s political challenges.  Mass was controversial at its premiere and continues to challenge audiences to find what unites us in its clashing voices and musical styles.

Two foundations have stepped forward to support this discussion and The Keene Chorale’s performance: the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the Waldo and Alice Ayer Trust, Citizen’s Bank, M.A. Trustee.

The Keene Chorale is a choral ensemble founded 40 years ago for singers to learn and perform choral master works. Membership is open without audition to anyone committed to learning music.  The Chorale was recognized with a 2018 James and Ruth Ewing Arts Awards in the performance arts category.

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