The Susquehanna Valley Chorale, the area’s premier community choral singing group, will be featuring virtual performances throughout the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19, and its first recording is now available for free viewing online.

This performance is available to view for free on the Chorale’s YouTube channel, and will be shared on its Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as on its website.  Visit svcmusic.org to easily access the recording.

Conductor and Music Director, Bill Payn, has programmed two subsequent virtual choir videos to follow the hugely successful release of the chorale’s first online performance in August featuring their student scholarship singers.  These will involve members of the larger chorale.  Dropping on October 26, the second video will be a performance of Blowin’ in The Wind, from A Dylan Oratorio.  Initially programmed for last spring, the entire work will now be presented during the 2021/2022 season.

This virtual musical experience is graciously sponsored by Bernadine Richard in memory of Jean-Paul Richard.  SVC Marketing and Development Liaison, Adam Dietz says:  “After much debate and exploration of possible repertoire for this video, this song kept resonating because of its poignant message in relation to current events over the last several months, and we are thrilled to share it with our listeners.”  The chorale will release a third video in December, showcasing two popular pieces from their Christmas Candlelight concerts.

A little about Blowin’ in The Wind…Shortly after singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, the Mendelssohn Club of Pittsburgh commissioned Steve Hackman to arrange some of Dylan’s songs into an extended work for chorus and orchestra.  Hackman, a Curtis Institute of Music graduate in his mid-30s, had previously combined classical and popular repertoire in works like Brahms v. Radiohead and directed the pop-classical crossover program FUSE for the Pittsburgh Symphony.  The result was The Times They Are A-Changin’: A Dylan Oratorio [2018].  Hackman wrote that he simply arranged some of Dylan’s songs, maintaining their musical structure; but others he treated much more freely, creating “new kinds of fantasy works around his songs.” The majority, including Blowin’ In The Wind, fell into this more creative style.  Dylan’s melody for Blowin’ in The Wind was a folk song called No More Auction Block.  It plays only a minor role in Hackman’s oratorio.  The lyric, one of Dylan’s finest, is the basis for Hackman’s imaginative creation. *

*Notes provided by Gary Boerckel, Lycoming College

“We believe music is essential, and even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SVC still intends to provide our local communities with incredible musical performances that provide hope, passion, and community to all who listen,” says Payn.  To experience everything the Chorale has planned for this season, please follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and visit svcmusic.org to sign up for email announcements.

The SVC was founded in 1969 by a small group of musically oriented people who wished to sing, learn, and grow together in the performance of superb choral music. The group consists of over 100 members from communities across the Central Susquehanna Valley. Led by several distinguished conductors, the Chorale has emerged as the leading ambassador of the arts in the Central Susquehanna Valley. We are the region’s only community choral group dedicated to presenting orchestra-accompanied choral music of major standing.

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