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.