Members of ConVal’s select choir participated in a collaborative performance with the Norway Pond Festival Singers, conducted by Jody Simpson. Despite a blizzard, thirteen ConVal singers were able to make it to the performance to present Carol Barnett’s The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass on Sunday, February 12th.
This is the third time that the Festival Singers and the ConVal Select Choir have joined forces. The ConVal Select Choir has been preparing for this performance during weekly their rehearsals since the beginning of the school year in September.
Brilliantly executed by composer Carol Barnett and librettist Marisha Chamberlain, The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass blends the classical mass, modern choral sophistication, touching poetry and traditional bluegrass instrumentation into an exhilarating musical experience.
Composer Carol Barnet says it best, “To bring the solemnity of the classical choir-based mass together with the down-home sparkle of bluegrass—now there’s an assignment! My highest hope is that listeners coming from one tradition — classical or bluegrass —a nd perhaps dubious about the other, might discover something new and wonderful in the combination, as I have. Composing the music for The World Beloved has given me the chance to write sacred music — all too rare in a medium rife with staid and even lugubrious settings. And it’s brought me back to memories of music heard while visiting my grandparents’ country music with a church flavor that told stories and came out of a scratchy old record player. Grandma would not have allowed dancing, but under the table I tapped my toes.”