Collaborative Choral Concert Explores Psalms on Cape Cod

NEW ENGLAND ENTERTAINMENT DIGEST – In a long-awaited collaboration, The Falmouth Chorale, led by Artistic Director John Yankee, and The Zamir Chorale of Boston, conducted by founder and Artistic Director Joshua R. Jacobson, present PsalmSensation, a concert featuring more than 120 singers and instrumentalists for a single performance on Sunday, March 19, 7 pm at The Lawrence School, 113 Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth.

Zamir Chorale by Mickey GoldinLong a popular tradition amongst choral singers, collaborative concerts allow the vocalists to explore their stylistic interpretations through the direction of a peer conductor. Now in their 53rd season, The Falmouth Chorale embraces this opportunity to learn from another director during Yankee’s decade-long tenure. Jacobson eagerly anticipates complementing The Falmouth Chorale’s chosen contemporary works with Zamir Chorale’s dedication to the presentation, preservation, and perpetuation of Jewish culture.

PsalmSensation features settings of texts from the Hebrew Bible, opening with the Falmouth Chorale Chamber Singers performance of Handel’s Coronation Anthem No. 4. Both Falmouth and Zamir together perform Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, The Last Words of David, and Boston composer Emmett Price’s Joyful Noise. The Zamir Chorale takes the stage commencing the program’s second half with contrasting settings of four Psalms. The concert will end with a blessing – where all voices join in unity to sing John Rutter’s The Lord Bless You and Keep You.

John Yankee by Dorene Sykes Photography“The program is delightfully diverse,” shares Yankee, “Listeners will be drawn into the concert by a gradual building of forces. Strings and woodwinds from the Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra accompany first our Chamber Singers in Handel’s compact and charming Coronation No. 4, Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened. The full Chorale takes the stage to sing the beautiful and calming opening movement of Mendelssohn’s setting of Psalm 42, As the Hart Longs. Zamir Chorale, along with piano, harp, and percussion, then join us for Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms.” Yankee thoughtfully mentions that it has been particularly valuable to be able to study and discuss the score with Jacobson, who “clearly knows the work inside out! This is my first experience conducting this thrilling and challenging piece, and we are very fortunate to perform it with Zamir.”

PsalmSensation Poster“We’ve selected a program rich in variety and depth, while staying true to Jewish traditions,” informs Jacobson. “Although Rossi is recognized for his 17th century Italian madrigals and sonatas, he also produced 33 beautiful Baroque settings of synagogue liturgy texts, unheard of again for two centuries.” Offering contrasting styles, Zamir’s portion of the program features several settings of Psalm 150, with British synagogue composer Julius Mombach’s dignified and majestic Hallelujah juxtaposed with contemporary composer Benjie Ellen Schiller’s Halleuhu, accompanied by the Middle Eastern doumbek hand drum. The set finishes with young composer Jeremiah Klarman’s work Hallel Shir Va’Or, a composition commissioned by Zamir in the last decade. The two movements offer a captivating blend of classical and popular styles, including jazz and pop.

The Falmouth Chorale by Tom Kleindinst Photography“Sharing a concert with Zamir is a true milestone for The Falmouth Chorale,” spoken proudly by Yankee. “Our hard work has earned us so much growth and many accomplishments. I’m thrilled to collaborate with such a renowned ensemble and director. We owe a great deal of gratitude to our Co-President Andy Garber, who made the suggestion and forged the connection well over a year ago.”

As a frequent guest conductor, Jacobson enjoys bringing a new approach to music for other singers. “Zamir collaborations extend the singing musician’s point of view. It is a pleasure to bring this opportunity to Cape Cod.”

As a world authority on Jewish choral music, Jacobson also presents an illustrated concert companion lecture PsalmSensation: 3000 Years of Joyous Sacred Song on Tuesday, March 14, 10:30 am at Falmouth Jewish Congregation’s Blanche & Joel D. Seifer Community Center, 7 Hatchville Road, East Falmouth. He’ll explore the question of the Psalms having originally been performed in ancient Israel, and provide a preview and fascinating backstories to several pieces featured in the PsalmSensation concert, performed the following Sunday. The event is open to the public, with a suggestion donation of $5 to $10 gratefully accepted at the door.

Tickets are $25 for adults in advance, $30 at the door, student tickets are $5. To order tickets or for more information, visit, call 774-392-2383.

Read more . . .