|December 2016||Welcome Yule: Peace in the Midst of War|
We commemorated the remarkable story of the World War I Christmas truce, interspersing carols sung by the soldiers and music by German and British composers with descriptions drawn from soldiers' letters home.
|June 2016||Música Hispánica: Then and Now|
Featuring Ariel Ramírez's Misa Criolla and a wide variety of Spanish- and Portuguese-language music throughout the ages.
|April 2016||Dona Nobis Pacem|
We sang Ralph Vaughan Williams' 1936 peace cantata Dona Nobis Pacem, accompanied by piano and string orchestra. An assortment of Vaughan Williams folk songs for strings and voice opened the concert.
|December 2015||Welcome Yule: Sing Joy!|
Featuring Bob Hurd's Misa del Pueblo Inmigrante, a charming Mummer's Play, Franz Biebl's Ave Maria, Eric Whitacre's Alleluia, and Franz Schubert's Benedictus es, Domine — with many other joys besides.
|June 2015||Mozart Requiem|
We celebrated the peak of our 50th season, and the beginning of the Maverick Concert Hall's 100th season, by performing Mozart's hauntingly brilliant Requiem with chamber orchestra and vocal solists at the Maverick.
|April 2015||Music in Desperate Times: Remembering the Women's Orchestra of Birkenau|
The first full performances of MDT since 2009 were presented at Christ Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie and Woodstock Jewish Congregation.
|New Year's Eve 2014||Messengers of Peace|
This special program of music and spoken word at Old Dutch Church, Kingston, was offered as a gift to the community. Our audience generously donated over $1300 to support Caring Hands Soup Kitchen in Kingston.
|December 2014||Welcome Winter, Welcome Yule|
The 19th annual celebration of the season continued the tradition of combining diverse styles of music into a single musical fabric. The music ranged from Henry Purcell's harrowing "The Cold Song," through the warmth of hearth and friendship in "Winter's Coming Home" by the monks of Weston Priory, to the whimsy of P. D. Q. Bach's "O Little Town of Hackensack" and "Good King Kong Looked Out" — to name a few.
|June 2014||Catskill Echoes
A concert celebrating the Hudson Valley's Musical Legacy, including 19th century shape note songs of Lewis Edson and Lewis Edson Jr. of Shady, Native American prayer and music, music inspired by historical events, folk music of Camp Woodland, music written by Ernest Williams of the Saugerties Band Camp, and compositions of celebrated musicians and performers who have made the Catskill Mountains their home.
|March 2014||J.S. Bach Plus
An all-baroque music concert featuring the chorus, soloists and the Ars Choralis Chamber Ensemble performing Bach's Cantatas Nos. 61 and 191; Erica Pickhardt playing his unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor; and Voices of Tomorrow honoree soprano Libby Sokolowski singing Sheep May Safely Graze from his Cantata No. 208. Additional works by Buxtehude, Lotti, Graun, and Giacomo Puccini completed the program.
Miracle in Bethlehem
World premiere of Barbara Pickhardt's and Johanna Hall's Miracle in Bethlehem. Performed for overflowing audiences at Overlook Methodist Church in Woodstock, NY, this musical telling of the Christmas story featured the 45-voice chorus, 14 soloists and a chamber ensemble of violin, cello, piano, percussion, flute and trumpet.
|November 2013||75th Anniversary of
As part of the Big Read program organized by the Poughkeepsie Public Library, Ars Choralis performed excerpts from the Music in Desperate Times program at the Bardavon Theatre in Poughkeepsie.
Carl Orff's Carmina Burana was performed outdoors in the amphitheater of the Opus 40 Sculpture Park by a full complement of choristers, soloists, children's choir, duo-pianists and percussionists. The extraordinary artistic and natural beauty of Opus 40 and the imaginative use of its many levels and unusual singing locations made for a uniquely dramatic performance of Orff's celebrated masterpiece.
|March 2013||The Road to Freedom: A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.
In celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ars Choralis performed "The Road to Freedom," a concert of remembrance. The concert followed in the words and music tradition of earlier Ars Choralis concerts. Narrators read poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Langston Hughes and excerpts from Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermons, speeches, and "Letter from Birmingham Jail." Songs, interspersed among the readings, were performed by Ars Choralis and guests, The Riverview Missionary Baptist Church Choir, Nashville soul singer Jonell Mosser, and 12-year-old Carmen Higuita. The concert also premiered three songs inspired by Norman Rockwell's illustrations of events occurring during the Civil Rights written by Tony nominee Jim Wann. The concert attracted hundreds of people to Riverview Church in Kingston and The Woodstock Jewish Congregation in Woodstock to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to help Riverview Missionary Baptist Church rebuild after a devastating flood from Hurricane Sandy.
Welcome Yule Gloria! Gloria!
The seventeenth annual Ars Choralis Welcome Yule Concert featured three centuries of "Glorias." The concert opened with the "Gloria" from Gounod's 18th-century St. Cecilia Mass for tenor solo, chorus, brass quartet and organ. From the seventeen century, the chorus sang Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria with soloists Christina Gardner, Kimberly Horn and Wendy Lowe and the Eribeth Chamber Ensemble. Twentieth century composer Francis Poulenc's celebrated Gloria with soprano soloist Amy Martin and pianist Kristen Tuttman completed the program.
"Kudos to Barbara Pickhardt and her dedicated singers for a gratifying afternoon." —Leslie Gerber, Woodstock Times
Wings of Hope
Ars Choralis turned back the clock to the 1940s for Wings of Hope and combined music and words to tell the fascinating story of the historic Berlin Airlift, the first humanitarian mission carried out by air. The true-life accounts of the men who served in the effort, their wives back home and the people of Berlin were interspersed with music. In the musical spirit of the 1940s, Ars Choralis sang a hit parade of songs. Got-to-Lindy dancers were featured swinging to the tunes of the Big Blue Big Band.
Inspired by the Aurora Borealis, director Barbara Pickhardt created a musical light show of psalms and Sacred Harp songs, Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms," and St. Patrick's Day highlights, featuring the Catskill Mountain Renaissance Consort. An array of young talents added luster to the performance: the Woodstock Elementary Chorus, "Voices of Tomorrow" 2012 honoree Katelyn Noecker, boy soprano Morgan Camara, and 12-year-old step-dancer Anna Tuttman.
Welcome Yule 2011: A Tale of Two Christmases
Set in jolly old England, centuries apart, A Tale of Two Christmases visited the courts of two noted monarchs: Queen Elizabeth the First and Queen Victoria. Beginning with medieval chant, a mystery play and ancient carols from the time of Elizabeth the First, the performance fast-forwarded three centuries to a Victorian Musical with a cup-o-wassail, roving carolers, brass music, and Ars Choralis' own version of Charles Dickens' story of Gabriel Grub from The Pickwick Papers. From the mystical to merriment — all in one performance!
A Sacred Celebration
Guest artist Lily Arbisser, the Eribeth Chamber Players, and a stage full of percussionists gathered with Ars Choralis to present a remarkable program of sacred music at the national treasured Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock, NY. The program included J.S. Bach's Cantate BWV 84, Ariel Ramirez's Misa Criolla, the area premiere of Lynn Kurtz' Sacred Celebration and smaller pieces by Le Jeune, Swider, Weerbecke, Mozart and others.
Dettingin Te Deum
Ars Choralis with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra
|December 2010||Welcome Yule: Go Tell it On the Mountain
A concert laced with the sparkling rhythms, wonderment and joy of Hispanic Appalachian and African American carols tied together by the remarkable saxophone styling of Robert Shaut and joyous voices of the Hudson Valley Youth Chorale, all summed up in a spirit of unity and goodwill expressed in the words of Maya Angelou's poem Amazing Peace.
Spellbound on the Solstice
The monumental Opus 40, where melodies resonating from stone echo across the remarkable sculpture, was the perfect setting for a spellbinding solstice concert. The hundreds of people seated in the amphitheater, on the hillside and the plateau above were in unanimous agreement. The multi-faceted concert drew upon four centuries of music and myriad moods to close simply with Pete Seeger's words, "Guard well our human chain. Watch well and keep it strong. . . ."
Eine Kleine Mozart in March
Ars Choralis and the Eribeth Chamber Players joined forces to bring both Mozart's famous Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and his less familiar Dir, Seele Des Weltalls to life. Three unknown motets and the popular Regina Coeli in B-Flat completed the program.
Welcome Yule from the Misty Isles
Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols opened the concert, perfectly blending the archaic Old English language with a contemporary musical setting. Through the magic of Dylan Thomas's poetry, A Children's Christmas in Wales, glimpses of holidays past were brought to life and illuminated by the songs of Ars Choralis and tunes of guest artists Celtic Crossing.
A German Requiem, Op. 45, in the original London version with piano four-hands, plus String Sextet number 2 in G MAJOR, Op. 36.
|March and April, 2009||Music In Desperate Times
Third series of performances at Cathedral Church of Saint John The Divine, Manhattan and in Berlin Germany.
|December 2008||Welcome Yule: Through a Stained Glass Window
Musical portraits of Christmas scenes through the ages. The concert featured ancient carols performed by The Catskill Mountain Renaissance Consort, the Medieval Liturgical Drama of The Three Kings, Early American shape note songs and music of Samuel Barber, Morton Lauridson, and others.
|June 2008||In a Green Cathedral
Inspired by the magic of the Maverick woods, and the imminence of the summer solstice, the concert included music of Faure (Pavane and Madrigal), Copland (Simple Gifts and The Promise of Living), and Corigliano (Forever Young), among others.
|March 2008||The Long Road Home
In this concert, the members of Ars Choralis honored the people of the Mississippi Delta and celebrated the rich contribution they have made to our American musical heritage. Nashville soul-singer Jonell Mosser added her magic to the concert composed of spirituals, gospel and Faure's Requiem.
|December 2007|| Welcome Yule: Christmas in a Quiet Place
Guided by the texts, and based on the song "Quiet Place" by John Hall, Johanna Hall and Jonell Mosser, this concert blended sacred and secular, classical and popular, familiar and unfamiliar music, fragments and whole pieces, into one seamless musical expression.
|April, 2007||Music In Desperate Times repeated by popular demand in April 2007 at SUNY Ulster, Stone Ridge, NY and Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Woodstock, NY.|
|March 2006||Music in Desperate Times: Remembering the Women's Orchestra of Birkenau
A choral concert set in the Holocaust featuring a small reconstruction of the Women's Orchestra that played in the Camp at Birkenau during WWII. Their story was told with readings from their memoirs and histories, along with representative orchestral selections and choral commentary.
Eight Cellos and a Guitar
A concert of music derived from Spanish and Portuguese musical heritages, featuring Villa Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras and music of Fernando Sor, Michael D. Mendoze, Jean Berger and others.
|March 2005||Messiah Parts II and II
Handel's beloved masterwork, performed with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra.
|December 2004||Welcome Yule: Reveling in the Season|
A rich tapestry of carols, drama, poetry and dances woven into a holiday delight. Based on Christmas Revel Concerts across the country and abroad, Ars Choralis sang of snow-covered mountains and horse-drawn sleighs, presented the traditional boar's-head, danced in the aisles and acted out a Mummer's Play.
|June 2004|| A Renaissance Feast of Songs
Concert-goers reveled in Renaissance music and the beauty of Fite's feat in three concerts at Opus 40 in Saugerties, NY. The 35-member chorus was joined by the Catskill Mountains Renaissance Consort, composed of recorders, krumhorn, bass viol, percussion and guitar. Audiences picnicked on the grass, enjoying the tunes of Morley, Campion, Gibbons,Henry VIII and others. Dressed in period costumes and singing in full ensemble, double chorus and small groups, Ars Choralis moved about the monument, exploring the many resonances of the rocks.
In sharp contrast to the preceding holiday concert, Ars Choralis turned its attention to music of reflection and beauty enhanced with poetry and interpretive dance.
|June 2003||Mysterium Solares (The Mystery of the Sun)
Celebrating the return of the sun, set in the majestic art stonescape, Opus 40, the chorus moved from stone to lawn, voices echoing around the monument.
|March 2003||J.S. Bach and Sons
The master and all of his sons came together for this concert of instrumental and choral works of J.S. Bach (Fifth Brandenburg Concerto and Lobet den Herrn), J.C. Bach's Kyrie in D, movements from C.P.E. Bach's Magnificat in D and harpsichord music of J.C. Bach (Sonata in F for Two Harpsichords).
|December 2003||Welcome Winter, Welcome Yule 2003 featured Ars Choralis in the world premiere of "Miracle In Bethlehem," a new musical setting of the Christmas story by Barbara Pickhardt and Johanna Hall. The Hudson Valley Youth Chorale, fresh from their appearances in Austria and Hungary, performed songs of the season. The 75 children created the holiday mood when they skipped in singing, tossing peppermints to the crowd. Bar Scott premiered a new a cappella piece, "Snow."|
|June 2002||A Program of Ameican Music featuring Schickele
Composer and Woodstock resident Peter Schickele and renowned pianist Justin Kolb are long time friends of Ars Choralis. Peter's remarkable Concerto for Piano and Chorus: The Twelve Months is the perfect vehicle to bring composer, pianist and chorus together. Ars Choralis enjoyed its conversion into an orchestral voice supporting Kolb's brilliant piano pyrotechnics. The sylvan setting of historic Maverick Hall brought the performance to perfection.
|March 2002||Solemn Vespers
Mozart's Solemn Vespers, performed with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra.
|December 2002||Welcome Yule 2002: Magnificent Magnificats & More at Redeemer Lutheran Church, was the vocal ensemble's seventh annual Welcome Yule. It featured three groups from the Hudson Valley Youth Chorale. Ars Choralis set a mystical tone with four settings of the familiar Magnificat (song of Mary): Antiphonal master works by Renaissance composers Giovanni Gabrieli and Orlando Gibbons, Antonin Tuma's classically styled Magnificat in C, and "Mary in the Garden" by Johanna Hall and Barbara Pickhardt.|
|June 2001||Soul of America
A concert designed to bring uniquely American music to audiences in Hungary and Austria. Included on the program were works by William Schuman, Samuel Barber, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Brian Wilson and P.D.Q. Bach, among others.
|June 2001||Messengers of Peace
A mix of music and spoken words, expressing the yearning for peace, this concert was first performed on the eve of the millennium in Kingston, NY, repeated in Woodstock, NY on September 11th, 2002, and in Budapest and Vienna on the chorus' summer 2001 tour.
|June 2000||Dido and Aeneas
Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, performed at the Hudson Valley art stonescape, Opus 40.
|June 1999||From the Baltic to Bernstein
This concert featured Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, and music written by composers living behind the Iron Curtain during the latter part of the 20th century.
|June 1998||Honoring the Dream: A Tribute to MLK Jr.
With Alice Parker's Sermon from the Mountain, Ars Choralis reached across the racial divide to include the gospel choir from Riverview Baptist Church, Kingston, New York with pastor Willie Harden reading words of MLK in the first half. The Riverview Baptist Choir rocked the Maverick in the second half with their own gospel testimony.