UPDATED Sept. 28: After 33 years of service, founder and Artistic Director Nick Page will lead a final season of preparation for his final concert with Mystic Chorale, titled “The Heart Dances, the Soul Sings.”
This project will be his last involvement with the Arlington-based musical group before his long-planned relocation to Missouri.
The season is to start with 11 weeks of rehearsals that began at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at First Parish Unitarian Church, 630 Mass. Ave., with the concert slated for December
Organizers say they hope that this season and its concert will pack an emotional punch, balancing explosive energy and tenderness.
Page has been known over the decades for his enthusiastic direction and award-winning musical arrangements. This upcoming Mystic Chorale season, as in the past, will feature pieces old and new.
The season theme comes from a new piece composed by Page called "Halev Roked," with the words “The heart dances, the soul sings.” More songs than ever will feature the chorus as a whole, including Ysaye Barnwell’s arrangement of "I Am Determined (To Walk in Freedom)" and the anthem "The Storm is Passing Over (Courage My Soul)."
Page will be bringing back a few some other favorites, including Bernice Johnson Reagon's arrangement of "The Sun Will Never Go Down" and Duke Ellington’s "Freedom #7."
New pieces will include a rousing gospel song originally done by the Jubilee Singers in the 1880s -- "I’m Gonna Sing All the Way" -- as well as a joyous South African song "Ayangena," with the words, “Who can prevail without courage?”
The show will also feature Page's own arrangement, called "A Simple Shalom," combining "Simple Gifts" with "Shalom Chaverim." That will be followed by the poignant 1940s hit "We’ll Meet Again." At the concert itself, Mystic Chorale alumni will be invited to join in singing the traditional Mystic favorite, "Every Day is a Day of Thanksgiving."
Both new singers and veterans are welcome to take part this entire season to help send off the director.
During these continuing times of Covid-19, Mystic Chorale’s first priority is the health and safety of all including protocols above and beyond what Massachusetts requires. However, for those who aren’t ready for live singing and who wish to participate from afar, there is the option to join as a virtual singer. The rehearsals and concert will be livestreamed and recorded, and the recordings will be posted on the Mystic Chorale website a few days later. All singers will receive PDF files of the music and access to the practice recordings.
Organizers note, however, that virtual singers will not be able to perform in the concert itself.
The concert itself is to take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at Cary Hall, 1605 Mass Ave., Lexington. Tickets are $25 and are available at the chorale's website. More detail is at this link within the website.
March 30, 2022: Mystic Chorale concert held in March
This news announcement was published Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022. The information was provided by Mystic Chorale. It was updated Aug. 12, to clarify the headline and copy.
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