Abbie Betinis (b.1980) composed Mary and Gabriel on a commission from the Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester, Minnesota, and it was premiered in December 2006. The work, which is scored for chorus and percussion, is set to a poem by the English poet Rupert Brooks (1887-1915), and gives an unusual amount of emotion to Mary in an annunciation scene. This is the fifth consecutive year that the New Amsterdam Singers has programmed a work by the Minnesota-based, prize-winning composer.
The New Amsterdam Singers (NAS) was founded in 1968 by Clara Longstreth. A recent issue of The New Yorker called Ms. Longstreth "one of the more imaginative choral programmers around" and the New Amsterdam Singers "a superb amateur group." The New York Times described the chorus's June 2012 concert as "a varied and beautifully performed a cappella program." NAS has performed with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein; American Russian Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and at Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall under Leon Botstein; Concordia Orchestra and Anonymous Four in Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light with Marin Alsop at Avery Fisher Hall; and with the Limón Dance Company in Kodály's Missa Brevis. In 2010 the chorus sang concerts in Cuba and at a Holiday Open House at the White House.
For further information call (212) 568-5948 or go online to www.nasingers.org. Tickets are available at the door for $25, $15 for senior and $10 for students. Tickets are available in advance for $20 online at www.nasingers.org, by phone (212) 568-5948, or by mail (New Amsterdam Singers, P. O. Box 373, Cathedral Station, New York, NY 10025).
J.S. Bach Ich lasse dich nicht
James Bassi Quem pastores laudavere
Abbie Betinis Mary and Gabriel
Johannes Brahms Lass dich nur nichts nicht dauren
James MacMillan Missa brevis
Sheena Phillips Two Carols (New York premiere)
Carl Rütti Wach auf
Heinrich Schütz Ein Kind is uns geboren
Die mit Tränen säen
Judith Shatin The God of Glory (New York premiere)
Randall Thompson Antiphon
Tomás Luis de Victoria Regina caeli