From choral to Celtic to Klezmer, series is a cultural gem for Davidson
Davidson has many cultural gems for a town its size, from theater and film to art and music. Some offerings even rival what’s available in most major cities, and that would have to include Music @ St. Alban’s, an annual festival of music that ranges from classical to Celtic to choral.
This year’s series begins Sunday, Sept. 19, at 3 p.m. with a program called “BachFest V: Bach to the Future.” Five additional concerts through May will bring to town top ensembles from around the world, including a highlight of this year’s schedule, the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford on March 30.
Music @ St. Alban’s 2010-11
All concerts at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 301 Caldwell Lane, Davidson. For full concert descriptions see www.musicatstalbans.net
SUNDAY, SEPT. 19, 3 p.m., “BachFest V: Bach to the Future.” Works of J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Telemann.
SUNDAY, NOV. 7, 3 p.m., David Glukh Klezmer Ensemble. One of New York’s top ensembles of traditional Jewish music.
SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 3 p.m., “The Beggar Boys: A Celtic Christmas.” A Davidson holiday tradition returns, with Irish step dancers joining the band. Benefit for Mooresville Soup Kitchen.
SUNDAY, JAN. 30, 3p.m., The Charlotte Contemporary Ensemble. “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Cedric Meekins and his group sing spirituals, gospel and contemporary works.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 7:30 p.m., The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford. Works from 500 years of choral history, including Taverner, Tallis, Parry, Purcell, Walton, and Tippett.
SUNDAY, MAY 1, 3 p.m., Seicento String Band: “Vivaldi, The Storm.” The ensemble plays Vivaldi’s concerti on historical instruments.
The theme of the 2010-11 season for Music @ St. Alban’s is “A World of Music (Right Around the Corner).” For us Davidsonians, that’s literally right around the corner: All concerts are in the sanctuary of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, off Concord Road.
“We are bringing world class music to this community,” said Artistic Director Henry Lebedinsky. “You can hear music at St. Alban’s that you can’t hear anywhere else in the Southeast.”
“It think it’s one of our most ambitious seasons ever,” added Mr. Lebedinsky, a multi-instrument musician who also is music director at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.
The series this year also adds a new title sponsor, classical public radio station WDAV-FM. The Davidson-based station is on a mission of its own these days, to bring more live concerts to the airwaves. In the coming months that will include two Music @ St. Alban’s performances: the Christ Church Cathedral choir concert and the annual Celtic Christmas concert by The Beggar Boys (Dec. 12).
Also on the schedule this year are The David Glukh Klezmer Ensemble (Nov. 7), The Charlotte Contemporary Ensemble (Jan. 30), and The Seicento String Band playing a concert titled “Vivaldi, the Storm” (May 1).
The church actually has joined in this year, co-sponsoring the appearance of the Christ Church choir. The group “is one of the best choirs of men and boys in the world,” Mr. Lebedinsky said, and it has not toured the U.S. in some time. “So it’s a major coup to be able to get this group,” he said.
St. Alban’s Espiscopal Church is the perfect setting for the series, both as a concert venue and for live recordings, Mr. Lebedinsky said. “It’s a delightful space. The acoustics are wonderful – warm and friendly without being too live.”
Music @ St. Alban’s is a Charlotte Arts & Science Council grant recipient, but gets most of its money from ticket sales, sponsorships and donations. After six previous seasons, the series has developed a loyal following of concert-goers from around the region. “People trust us to bring quality music that they’ll like, even if they haven’t heard it before,” Mr. Lebedinsky said.
The Sept. 19 BachFest exemplifies another characteristic of the series: Its commitment to authenticity. “We are the only organization in the Charlotte area that is committed to performing Baroque music on period instruments,” Mr. Lebedinsky said.
This year’s fifth annual BachFest will feature baroque flutist Kim Pineda and baroque violinist David Wilson. Mr. Lebedinsky also will play along, as will Davidson-based baroque cellist Barbara Blaker Krumdieck. On Sept. 19, they’ll be playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 and Orchestral Suite No. 2, along with works by C.P.E. Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann.
Meanwhile, even as it proceeds with an ambitious season, the series is looking ahead to an important transition. In January, Mr. Lebedinsky will step down as artistic director of the series he has built over the past seven years. Ms. Krumdieck will be taking his place.
Series tickets are now on sale, at $54 for the six concerts, or $9 apiece. That’s a discount off the individual concert price of $15. Students and seniors 65 and over are $10. Children under 12 are free. (Individual tickets for the Christ Church Choir are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.)
Tickets are available at the door or in advance by calling 704-941-0650. Box office hours are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More information: www.musicatstalbans.net