UMF spring concert has French flair

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FARMINGTON — The UMF Community Chorus’ annual spring concert has a decidedly French flavor. The “Gallia,” a lamentation motet by Charles-François Gounod, will be performed, followed by two works by Gabriel Fauré, the “Cantique de Jean Racine” and the “Requiem.”

The concert on Saturday and Sunday, May 1-2, will conclude with a choral medley from the hit Broadway musical “Les Misérables,” composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg, based on the Victor Hugo novel.

Performances, which will include solos by several students and members of the Farmington musical community, will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday in Old South Church on Main Street.

The chorus will be conducted by Bruce McInnes, accompanied by Patricia Hayden and a small instrumental ensemble.

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The “Gallia” is a relatively unknown work written in 1871 while Gounod was in London conducting a chorus of his own creation, which later became the Royal Choral Society. This lamentation motet is in four short sections or movements, which include soprano solos to be sung by Kathryn Sytsma, Carol Ramú and Cynthia Clark.

 The “Cantique de Jean Racine” is another short work by Gabriel Fauré, his Opus 11, written when the composer was only 17, but which already demonstrates his melodic gifts. It will be performed in French and will be accompanied by harpist Susan Miron and solo string players.

 Perhaps the best known of Fauré’s larger works is his “Requiem,” which occupied his attention for about five years. Soloists in the “Requiem” will be Lisl Fuson, soprano; Sam Sytsma, baritone; and Paul Stancioff, bass. Instrumental accompaniment will be provided by a chamber ensemble of strings, horns and harp. Patricia Hayden will be the organist.

 The final work in the program will be a medley of the most popular selections from the “Les Misérables.” Soloists will include Courtney Bolen, Lauren Arnold, Cassandra Fredrickson, Dan Woodward, James Cummons and Jason Millett.

 Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors. For more information, call 778-7072, or e-mail robin.palmermosher@maine.edu.

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