Pilgrim Festival Chorus to Honor Plymouth’s 400th in Commemorative Concerts

McGRATHPR.com – Pilgrim Festival Chorus (PFC), the region’s principal not-for-profit community choral ensemble, announces two special commemorative concerts honoring Plymouth’s quadricentennial celebration.  “Pilgrim Journey: Songs of Faith and Courage” is presented on Saturday, October 23, 7:30 pm, and on Sunday, October 24, 4 pm at St. Bonaventure Parish, 803 State Road, Plymouth.  The chorus, under the leadership of Founding Artistic Directors William B. Richter and Elizabeth Chapman Reilly, is accompanied by brass quartet and harp.

Pilgrim Festival Chorus Artistic Directors William B. Richter and Elizabeth Chapman Reilly, image by Matt McKee Photography, from PFC’s 20th Anniversary concert.

“This program is a complete delight – fun to sing with a wonderful, robust accompaniment”, shares Elizabeth Chapman Reilly.  “In addition to the brass and harp, our new commission ‘Arrived in Good Harbor’ features piano to inspire the listeners’ imagining of the stormy Atlantic crossing. It’s tremendously exciting to watch the commissioned work finally come to life.”

In PFC’s commemorative concert, singers and instrumentalists mark the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower in Plymouth. Initially scheduled for October 2020, this postponed concert is presented through the lens of the faith and courage of the Mayflower’s passengers as they emigrated across the sea to the new world.  The program features the premiere of a specially commissioned work by Massachusetts composer Clifton J. Noble Jr., “Arrived in Good Harbor.”  Noble worked closely with PFC’s directors to originate a choral work that incorporates texts written by William Bradford (1590-1657), noted Governor of the Plymouth Colony and a signatory of the Mayflower Compact.

Also on the program is a piece by American composer, Alice Parker, who is herself a national treasure, having promoted America’s musical heritage over a career that spans decades. “Melodious Accord,” Parker’s masterful setting of 18th and early 19th century hymn tunes in the shape-note tradition, is particularly suitable for the celebration in its reflection on the strong faith of the Pilgrims. PFC’s performance of this work will be the first in the region in many years.

Pilgrim Festival Chorus, conducted by
Co-Founder and Artistic Director William B. Richter, image by Dan Rapoza

Founded in 1999, PFC is an auditioned, volunteer choral ensemble with about 80 active members, representing all skill levels, dedicated to the performance of diverse genres of choral music. The group typically performs major concerts each winter and spring, and often a Messiah Sing in December.  Pilgrim Festival Singers, a PFC offshoot ensemble, performs an annual summer concert of lighter music, and occasionally sings at local community events.

Pilgrim Festival Chorus takes the safety of its members and audience seriously.  This season, the singers have committed to being fully vaccinated and are wearing masks for rehearsals and performances.  Audience members are expected to wear masks while in attendance and to keep socially distanced as possible, regardless of vaccination status.  

Tickets for the “Pilgrim Journey” performances are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens, and $15 for students over 14. Children age 14 and under are admitted free. Advance tickets may be purchased online at pilgrimfestivalchorus.org or from PFC members. To reserve tickets by phone, please call Hannah Woodbury at 781-834-8601, and leave a voicemail message.  For more information, visit pilgrimfestivalchorus.org, or follow Pilgrim Festival Chorus on Facebook.

About Pilgrim Festival Chorus

Since 1999, Pilgrim Festival Chorus (PFC) has served the South Shore as a volunteer, not-for-profit community singing ensemble dedicated to performing choral music in public and private concerts; to providing music education to its members and the public; and to encouraging and promoting the performance of quality choral music. More than 80 vocalists of all adult ages fill out the ensemble. Traditionally, PFC presents a major choral work each spring, holiday season concert performances, annual Messiah Sings in December, and summer concerts featuring pops-style repertoire.  PFC is funded in part by grants from many of the region’s Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.  PFC performances are produced in part by cooperation with See Plymouth and Plymouth County Commissioners.  For more information about PFC, please visit pilgrimfestivalchorus.org, or follow Pilgrim Festival Chorus on Facebook.