Eclectic holiday music for chorus and brass, beginning with a 16th century fanfare and ending with a non-traditional 20th century setting of Christmas carols, will be presented in two concerts by the Choral Society of the Hamptons at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 13, at 3 and 5:30 p.m. The second concert will be followed by a free reception at the Bridgehampton Community House.
Most of the music has a Christmas theme, two pieces celebrate Hanukkah, and the moods vary from solemn and sweet to cheerful, rousing, and even irreverent. Mark Mangini, the society’s music director, will conduct the chorus and brass ensemble, and the audience will be invited to join in some of the singing.
Daniel Pinkham’s “Christmas Cantata,” short works by Gabrieli and Praetorius, and arrangements of French and German carols are highlights of the program. “Playful surprises” include carol parodies by PDQ Bach (aka Peter Schickele) and Conrad Susa’s “A Christmas Garland.” Three members of the chorus, Paul Melnyck, Dennis Longwell, and Ken Rowland, will solo as the Three Kings in the latter work.
The complimentary festivities at the Community House, set to begin at 7 p.m., have become a tradition for the society. The reception will include caroling, a silent auction, foods prepared by members of the chorus, and a cash bar.
Mark Mangini is the music director and conductor of the Choral Society of the Hamptons and the Greenwich Village Singers and has been one of New York’s most active choral conductors for 30 years.
After considering careers in both journalism and the theater, Mr. Mangini began the serious study of music while an undergraduate at Amherst College. Mr. Mangini is on the faculties of Kingsborough Community College and Hunter College of CUNY, and has taught at Rutgers University. He has also been the director of music at Grace Church Brooklyn Heights and the conductor of the Bach Vespers series at New York’s Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
Mr. Mangini conducted an all-Mozart program at the 2005 Music Festival of the Hamptons, and in the summer of 2007 he led the Greenwich Village Singers, the Choral Society of the Hamptons, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic in two gala performances of Lukas Foss’s monumental secular cantata, “The Prairie.” He recently prepared a chorus for the Encompass Opera Theatre’s New York production of Virgil Thomson’s “Four Saints in Three Acts,” and was the guest choral clinician for the Hampton Music Educators Association’s 2009 conference.
Mr. Mangini also performs as a professional singer and has taught voice privately throughout his career. He is the grandson of the late Alfred A. Scheffer, the Amagansett architect whose work can be seen on the South Fork.
Rehearsal accompanist/organist Thomas Bohlert has been the director of music since 2000 at the First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton, where he also leads the Music at the Old Town Church series. Previously, he served in the same capacity at The Park Church in Elmira, New York, for 19 years.
As an organ recitalist, Mr. Bohlert has performed at St. Thomas Church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and has given recitals in
and Viersen in Germany. He has served as a judge for regional organ playing competitions for the American Guild of Organists, and for a composition competition for the Music Teachers National Association.
He is a composer of works for organ, choir, and handbells, some of which have been published by Belwin-Mills, Selah Publishing Company, and Hope Publishing Company.
In his “other life,” he is a member of the editorial staff of The East Hampton Star. He has taught English as a Second Language and business English at the English Language Institute of Southampton College, and holds certificates in German language proficiency from the Goethe Institute.
The orchestra for Sunday’s concerts includes three trumpets, Joseph Fantozzi, James Malone and Karl Himmelman; three trombones, Stacy Blair, Justin Comito and Julie Josephson; two French horns, Luiza Raab-Pontecorvo and Lee Duke; Donald Larsen, timpani; Murray Houllif, percussion; Margery Fitts, harp; and Peter Ludlow, piano.
The concerts will be presented at 3 and 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults, $10 for youths, and may be purchased on the society’s website, www.choralsocietyofthehamptons.org, at the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor, or by calling 631-204-9402. As a 501 C3 organization, the Choral Society always welcomes contributions.
One fine body…