The Oratorio Society of Virginia, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary season, will offer its annual "Christmas at the Paramount" concert twice.
Courtesy the Oratorio Society of Virginia
Adolphus C. Hailstork Rita Dove Daily Progress
Oratorio Society celebrates Christmas, marks anniversary
On May 25, 2018, the chorus will present the world premiere of “Testimonial,” a newly commissioned work by composer Adolphus Hailstork that’s based on a poem by Rita Dove.
Hailstork is professor of music and eminent scholar at Old Dominion University. Dove, who is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia, has served as poet laureate of the United States and poet laureate of Virginia.
Hailstork’s “Testimonial” will be premiered during “Celebrating 50 Years of the Oratorio Society: 50th Anniversary Gala Concert,” which is set for 7 p.m. May 25 in Cabell Hall Auditorium. Also on the program will be W.A. Mozart’s “Mass in C minor” and an excerpt from “Messiah.” The Oratorio Encore Society also will appear.
It’s not the first time the singers have commissioned and performed music based on Dove’s poetry to mark a milestone. For the chorus’ 30th anniversary, composer Walter Ross penned “The Pleasure’s in Walking Through: A Song of the Seasons,” which the Oratorio Society premiered in March 1998. Dove served as the soprano soloist.