During the pandemic, we have expanded our video selection with more recordings as well as virtual performances. This work has allowed us to remain creative and adaptable while we wait to take the stage again. Below are many of the pieces we’ve released over the past year.
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Over the past two seasons Solaris has been thrilled to premier new works by James Stewart, who, in addition to being a gifted composer, a very talented pianist and one of our terrific tenors, is an on-air host for Vermont Public Radio’s classical music station. In the fall of 2020 we were privileged to premier his composition, We Will Be Free. James composed this deeply moving piece that evokes a world where people listen to each other, and fear fades away for Solaris over the summer and we were honored to record it as our first virtual choir project.
In April 2021 we released the following four videos to usher in Spring and Summer
Solaris’ virtual choir performance of one of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ spirited English folksong arrangements,
Just as the Tide was Flowing
tells the story of young sailor on leave in the month of May who meets and falls in love with a charming young lass…. Frolicking ensues!
Slender Young Birch
is an “enchanting carol of spring” by Antonín Dvořák from his Songs of Nature set.
This video features a favorite track from Solaris’ Vivat Musica – Music is Life! CD.
The Blue Bird
by Charles Villiers Stanford, depicts a vibrantly-colored blue bird effortlessly gliding across the sky on a perfect summer day.
Solaris’ recording of Robert De Cormier’s stirring arrangement of
Study War No More
is a rousing closer which includes banjo and guitars along with our singers will have your foot a-tappin’ for sure!
In February 2021 we released these two videos.
Solaris’ men’s section singing Brothers Sing On is from our I Was Glad CD. This piece is a robust call for all to join in a “festival of song!”
Our recording of Rene Clausen’s O My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose is a setting of the deeply stirring poem by beloved Scottish poet Robert Burns. This song from Solaris’ Vivat Musica – Music is Life! CD is an audience favorite!we were honored to record it as our first virtual choir project.
Our 3 December 2020 videos were a Christmas gift from Solaris
Here We Come A-Wassailing is arranged by Solaris’ Artistic Director, Dr. Dawn Willis. The tradition of “wassailing” which harkens back to the middle ages was an English custom where the lord of the manor would offer peasants food and a drink of wassail (a warm spiced fruit punch usually including spirits) at Christmastime in exchange for their goodwill and blessings. A modern equivalent is the tradition of “caroling” – singing carols from door-to-door with the hope of an invitation to come in for a festive drink or dessert. This arrangement was originally scored for mixed voices with brass quintet. It has been adapted for two trumpets and organ for this video.
Sing We Now of Christmas, is a joyous arrangement of the traditional French carol, Noel Nouvelet by Fred Prentice with an added harp part by Carol Burnett. This delightful carol relates the Christmas story including the glorious songs of the angels to the shepherds and the visit of the magi from afar.
This stunning arrangement of Silent Night, is from a live recording from one of our 2019 Holiday Concerts. It features Solaris sporano Gail Whitehouse and harpist Rebecca Kauffman and was arranged by Tedd Firth and Judith Clurman.
performances imbued with passion and musical artistry.
©2019 Solaris Vocal Ensemble