WESTERLY – Singers from the Chorus of Westerly will perform Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” with members of the Fairfield County Chorale and the New Haven Chorale tonight at Yale’s famed Woolsey Hall. On Sunday, the singers – some 200 strong – will be back in Westerly to sing the piece for local music lovers.
Chorus Executive Director Ryan Saunders said he and the chorus have been “pushing ourselves outside the box” this season, and exploring new horizons.
“It’s a new little step,” said Saunders, who said the chorus will partner with the New England Symphony and travel to Worcester to sing in Mechanics Hall in the spring. “Sort of a mini-domestic tour.”
Saunders said the chorus has traveled to Providence in the past, to sing with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, but tonight’s concert will mark the first time in New Haven. Last Sunday, they traveled to Clinton, Conn., where they performed at the Morgan School as part of the George Flynn Classical Series.
“It’s been a good learning experience,” Saunders said.
“We’ll always do Christmas and Summer Pops, of course,” he added, “but we’re also taking the chorus flag and planting it in other places.”
Membership in the chorus has “exploded” recently, Saunders said, with singers coming from 28 different cities and towns.
Some of that might be due to the hard work of Music Director Andrew Howell, Saunders said, noting that last year Howell piloted a program with youngsters from Westerly’s Springbrook School which was well-attended and well-received.
“We have more kids than we’ve ever had,” he said. “We’re thrilled. It’s a good group.”
While tickets for Sunday’s performance of “Carmina Burana” at George Kent Hall are sold out, Saunders suggested that people interested in attending “Keep checking in at the box office.”
“There are always tickets turned in at the last minute,” he said, “so it’s always good to check.”
The same goes for Christmas Pops which sells out quickly each year. Tickets for Christmas Pops, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 and 6 p.m., are on sale now. Tickets for the “Nordic Voices,” concert on Feb. 2, one of the concerts in the Kent Hall Master Series, are also on sale now, as are tickets for “The Chorus: No Strings Attached” a concert scheduled for March 2 and 3; the March 31 concert with “The Swingles,” a group from England coming to sing as another concerts in the Kent Hall Master Series.
On Dec. 1, the community is invited to join the chorus for a “Community Messiah (Christmas portions) & Carol Sing” from 6-7 p.m.