Western Reserve Chorale and Singers' Club of Cleveland perform
In commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the Western Reserve Chorale and the Singers’ Club of Cleveland will present "Cry of Freedom, Plea for Peace—The Civil War in Remembrance" on Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10. The concert, under the direction of David Gilson, will take place March 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Breen Center at St. Ignatius, and March 10 at 3 p.m. at Cedar Hill Baptist Church in Cleveland Heights.
While audiences are familiar with the more well-known melodies, the Civil War era produced an extensive catalogue of music with roots in religious and folk traditions. “Nearly 10,000 songs have been written about the war, songs richly varied in subject and theme,” noted Gilson. The concert will include selections ranging from the patriotic “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Dixie,” to the wishful “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” and elegiac “Dear Sarah.”
It will also feature Ralph Vaughan Williams’s "Dona Nobis Pacem," with soloists Marian Vogel and Brian Johnson. Written on the eve of World War II, this cantata, inspired by the Civil War, uses the poetry of Walt Whitman, Bible verses, and other texts to trace the unfolding of war—call to arms, death in battle, return home for burial—and appeal for mutual respect and peace.
Now in its 21st season, the Western Reserve Chorale is a nonprofit group of amateur and professional singers dedicated to bringing high-quality performances of choral music to Greater Cleveland. For more than 120 years, the Singers’ Club of Cleveland has performed and commissioned choral works, and administered a scholarship program for local voice students. For more information, visit www.westernreservechorale.org or www.singersclub.org.
For the March concerts, tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students. To order, call the Singers’ Club at 216-556-4405, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gina Ventre is a University Heights resident and member of the Western Reserve Chorale.