Varied program peers through a contemporary lens into the Pilgrim’s journey to America
Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra closes its second season as Cape Cod’s collaborative orchestra with Toward the Sea, a special program detailing the events of the Pilgrim’s journey and acknowledging indigenous people during the Mayflower’s 400th year on Sunday, August 23, 3 pm, with a pre-concert talk at 2:15 pm, at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 533 Main Street, Rt. 28, Harwich Port. A reception featuring Native American art from members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe follows the concert with an opportunity to meet the musicians. The orchestra is conducted by Music Director Matthew Scinto, and features Cape Symphony’s principle flutist Zach Sheets and CCCO’s Charles Overton, harp. The program’s new work is the creation of CCCO Composer-in-Residence Cody Forrest.
“The more and more I looked into the history of the Pilgrims and Native people the more I felt compelled to acknowledge the whole story. On one hand, the Pilgrim’s journey can be looked at as an empowering one; men, women, and children traveling into the unknown to begin a new life. On the other hand, we have a story of war and disease that completely changed the lives of the indigenous people, many who still live on Cape Cod today. The goal of our program is to provide a deep reflection on these historic events,” shares Director Scinto.
Mashpee Wampanoag and musician Ej Mills Brennan will open the concert with her original composition Breath of Prayers on Native flute with vocals. Brennan maintains a firm belief in the healing power of the arts and has served as a music educator much of her life, working collaboratively to integrate arts on a variety of topics.
CCCO’s Season Two finale takes a contemporary look at the Pilgrim’s journey to America. Forrest’s world premiere work They Were Pilgrims is rooted in the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage, contextualized as a musical depiction of the historical events. Toru Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea for alto flute, harp and strings was commissioned in 1981 by Green Peace for their “Save the Whales” campaign. The work features a movement devoted to Cape Cod, and as the composer writes “is meditation and water wedded together”, further defining its importance. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s stormy Symphony No. 40 in G minor closes the afternoon’s dynamic program.
“We have a vision to explore our community through new music, fostering significance in the documentation of the Pilgrim journey witnessed in Cody’s new piece. Sharing this moment in history through new music allows us to bring the past into our reality today. I hope these new sounds and experiences help us to reflect on the entire Mayflower story,” shares Scinto.
Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra, founded in 2018, is inspired by Scinto’s vision for the future of classical music on Cape Cod. He is fulfilling his mission to collaborate with local Cape individuals, arts organizations and causes to create a unique concert experience of high quality, enriching and memorable orchestral music. Featuring living composers is at the forefront of his mission; bringing audiences closer to music and the beauty found across Cape Cod communities.
Tickets to Toward the Sea are$40 for reserved floor or balcony seats, $30 for general admission, all students (with valid ID) and children admitted for free. Tickets are available at capecodchamberorchestra.org, by calling 508-348-9202, or at the door by cash or credit card. This concert is made possible in part by grants from the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Harwich Cultural Council.
MILLS BRENNAN Breath of Prayers
TAKEMITSU Toward the Sea | Zach Sheets, alto flute; Charles Overton, harp
FORREST They Were Pilgrims
MOZART Symphony No. 40 in G minor
About Dr. Matthew Scinto, Conductor
Matthew Scinto is an emerging conductor based in Cape Cod, where he currently serves as Founder and Music Director of the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra and the Music Director for the Civic Orchestra of New Haven (CT). He has twice studied conducting at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center, was recently finalist for the Assistant Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony, and currently serves as a Cover Conductor for the Portland (ME) Symphony. He received his Doctor of Musical Art’s degree from Boston University, where he twice received the Conducting Department Award for Excellence in Conducting. Matthew has worked with conductors Bramwell Tovey, Ken-David Masur, Stefan Asbury, Diane Wittry, Daniel Hege, Marin Alsop, David Effron, and Markand Thakar. He has conducted such orchestras as the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Symphoria, the New Haven Civic Orchestra, the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras, the Miami Music Festival Orchestra, the Syracuse University Symphony, and the Boston University Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He previously graduated from Syracuse University (MM, 2014 & BM, 2012) where he studied conducting and viola.
About Cody Forrest, Composer-in-Residence
Cody W. Forrest is a composer and educator, fascinated by ineffable music and its ability to forge pathways between souls. His works explore the human impulse to share stories, the interplay of musical dichotomies, and a diverse spectrum of expressivity. Forrest has been commissioned by Dinosaur Annex, conductor Daniel Hege, and the Cochran Wrenn Duo. His music has been performed by Boston Music Viva, the Cassatt String Quartet, and internationally by violinist Léo Marillier. He has received the Florence Price fellowship from the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, the Classic Pure Vienna International Composition Competition grand prize, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and was selected for the 2015 EarShot New Music Readings. In 2016 he served as composer-in-residence for Chamber Music Campania in Varano, Italy. Cody resides in Brookline, and currently teaches at Northeastern University and New England Conservatory. He holds a doctorate degree in Music from New England Conservatory, Master of Music from Syracuse University, Bachelor of Music from University of North Texas, and has studied with Kati Agócs, Malcolm Peyton, Daniel S. Godfrey, Andrew Waggoner, and Cindy McTee.
About Zach Sheets
Zach Sheets is Principal Flute, Lyndon Paul Lorusso Chair, of the Cape Symphony Orchestra and has performed as guest Principal Flute with the Boston Ballet, Spoleto Festival USA, Portland Symphony, Albany Symphony, Chatham Chorale, Chorus Pro Musica, Phoenix, and Unitas Ensemble. Sheets has been presented in recitals nationwide, and performed prominent summer engagements with the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme (UK), the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), ManiFeste (France), Royaumont (France), Klangspuren (Austria), June in Buffalo (US), VIPA (Spain), and Spoleto (US) Festivals. Accolades include 1st Prize in the Byron Hester Competition, 1st prize in the Tallon Perkes Competition, 3rd prize in the San Diego Flute Young Artist Competition, and an Artist Development Fellowship from Harvard University. As a member of chamber groups the Switch~ Ensemble and Duo Axis, residency and teaching engagements in music departments include: Bard College, Buffalo State University, University of Chicago, Cornell, Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, UC Berkeley, the Radcliffe Institute, University of Miami, and University of Oklahoma. As a champion of bold new works, Sheets has commissioned and premiered dozens of new flute works by living composers, including recent recipients of the Guggenheim, Gaudeamus, and American Academy of Arts and Letters awards. Sheets lives in Boston and holds an MM, Eastman School of Music, and BA, Harvard University.
About Ej Mills Brennan
Multi-media artist, musician, and educator Ej Mills Brennan continues exploring the wonder of music throughout her life and maintains a firm belief in the Healing power of the Arts. In addition to her skills as a musician, she has taught classroom music as well as many years of private music lessons. As an educator, she teaches to students learning styles, enhancing every experience for both young and old and has worked collaboratively to integrate arts, developing curriculum that reaches across various subjects. Currently teaching through Steeple Street Music Academy in Mashpee, she also does Illustrations for the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project. She has performed with Jazbos ensemble, Trio/In Accord, JazBouquet & Heart Strings. Amongst many artistic projects, she has also produced two independent CD Releases: Breath of Prayers II – A Collection of Solo Native American Flute (1998) and Breath of Prayers III – Original Compositions: Piano, Flutes and Vocal (2003). She received her Masters Education at Cambridge College, Bachelors Music at UMASS Dartmouth, and an Associate Science in Jazz and Contemporary Music from Uni. Maine Augusta (Additional coursework at Berklee College of Music, Portland School of Art, Framingham Union Hospital School of Nursing and Cape Cod Community College).
About Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra
Committed to artistic integrity and excellence, the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra’s mission is to connect the diverse arts communities and individuals of Cape Cod inclusively. By collaborating with other disciplines of art and culture, the Orchestra aims to create unique concert experiences while providing exciting, enriching and memorable orchestral music. Featuring living composers is at the forefront of the orchestra’s mission; bringing audiences closer to the music of modern time, positioned as an essential and educational element to each performance program. Other repertoire champions the works of living composers, as well as the music of the classical canon. For more information visit capecodchamberorchestra.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra on Facebook and Instagram.