February 2, 2023

Newman UCC presents our Spring Choral Concert featuring Songs of Peace by Will Todd


Rumford, R.I. - Newman Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, is pleased to present our annual Spring Choral Concert, Songs of Peace, featuring choral works by Will Todd. This concert will also feature No More Sorrow and The Lord Is My Shepherd by Will Todd and the premier of a new choral work, And He Healed Them, by Chris Turner.

Geoffrey Greene is the Minister of Music at Newman Congregational Church and conductor for this concert. The Newman choir features soloists Becky Bass, soprano, Barbara Youmans, alto, Matt Kleyla, tenor, and Jonne Gomes, bass. The featured instrumentalists for this concert are Stephen Martorella on piano, Gigi Mitchell-Velasco on organ, David Zinno on doublebass, and Marty Richards on drum kit.

Will Todd’s music is sung and loved all over the world. A composer of great fluency, his work encompasses choral works large and small, opera, musical theatre and orchestral pieces, as well as jazz compositions and chamber works. His 2003 mass setting Mass in Blue has been performed extensively worldwide; many times with the Will Todd Trio and Will at the piano. He has collaborated with award winning choirs The Sixteen and Tenebrae, as well as with the BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra, The Halle Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, Opera Holland Park, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, The Bach Choir and The Genesis Foundation. His discography includes best-selling choral discs Lux Et Veritas and The Call of Wisdom (Tenebrae; Nigel Short), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park) and Mass in Blue, all on the Signum Classic label. His music is regularly broadcast on Classic FM, as well as on BBC Radio 3.

Will Todd’s music is valued for its melodic intensity and harmonic skill, often incorporating jazz colors, and his choral music is much in demand from amateur as well as professional performers. He has worked extensively with community choirs, children’s choirs, youth choirs and church choirs, writing a large body of approachable liturgical music and directing regular workshops in the UK and internationally.

Geoff Greene and members of the Newman Congregational Church Choir have been invited to participate in a performance of The Music of Will Todd on the DCINY (Distinguished Concerts International of New York) Concert Series in New York City. This performance is taking place on Sunday, April 7, 2019 in David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts under the baton of Dr. James M. Meaders and will feature Songs of Peace and No More Sorrow. These outstanding musicians will join with other choristers to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, a choir of distinction. Dr. Meaders will lead the performance as well as serve as the clinician for the residency, and Will Todd will be present as Composer-in-Residence and performing on the piano.

And He Healed Them is a New Testament scripture excerpted from the Gospels, telling the story of Jesus and his healing of all sick people, the diseased, those possessed with devils, and those with palsey. Turner’s setting of this story is powerful with his use of medieval harmonies and a simple texture. The tenors narrate the story, and the choir provides the harmonies set with brilliant word painting.

The Songs of Peace Concert will take place on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 3:00 pm. The public is cordially invited and there is a suggested donation of $10. A reception will follow the concert with an opportunity to meet the musicians. Newman Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, is located at 100 Newman Avenue, Rumford, RI 02916. For more information, to be a sponsor, or to reserve tickets, please call (401) 434-4742 x10.


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