Friday, September 12, 2014

'Participatory concert' at the New Haven Museum

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Museum and the Friends of Grove Street Cemetery invite the public to take part in a special participatory concert of the compositions of Daniel Read, "with the audience seated in the manner of a late 18th-century singing school, in four sections around an open square—tenor, treble, alto, and bass—facing the singing master," at 4 p.m. Sept. 21 according to a release.
The free event will be held at the museum, and will be followed by a reception, the release said. The New Haven Museum at 114 Whitney Ave.
"According to records, though Daniel Read earned a living as a comb-maker and the proprietor of 'Read’s Cheap Store' back in late 1700s New Haven, his true claim to fame was his prolific career in  musical composition and choral instruction. In fact, Read was one of the best known, most widely published American choral composers of his day," the release said.
 "The participatory 'singing school' will be accompanied by members of the Yale-New Haven Regular Singing and conducted by Yale University Professor of Music Ian Quinn, with assistance by John Gambell, Yale University printer and participant in the Yale-New Haven Regular Singing," the release said.  
"Quinn will give a brief overview of the practice of group a cappella singing in Read’s time, and conduct a demonstration lesson in the fundamentals of shape-note singing using several of Read’s most important compositions. Copies will be provided for the audience. The lyrics for most of the tunes to be performed were drawn from the work of the English poet and non-conformist hymn writer Isaac Watts (1674-1748). While the lyrics are paraphrased from Bible verses, and reflect Watts’s Christian spirituality, the songs were essentially the popular music of their day, sung in the singing schools and local “singings” in addition to their use in Protestant churches."

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