The Sangre de Cristo Chorale will present its fall concert, How Can I Keep from Singing? Performances are 4 p.m. Saturday in St. John’s United Methodist Church in Santa Fe and 4 p.m. Sunday at the United Church of Los Alamos.
Composers are often inspired to honor and elevate folk songs and other “music of the people” into fancy art music. Included in Sangre de Cristo Chorale’s October concerts will be works by Bela Bartòk, Johannes Brahms, Aaron Copland, Alice Parker, Gwyneth Walker, Mack Wilberg, and others.
Three of the pieces give a nod to veterans, inspired by the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. The concert will end with musical forms that are distinctly American—a spiritual, a country western song, and a gospel number.
Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 18 and under are free. Advance tickets may be ordered online at www.sdcchorale.org.
How Can I Keep from Singing? will be the first under the new leadership of recently appointed Music Director Fred Graham. Graham is a recent transplant to New Mexico from Minnesota, and is an active singer, voice teacher, choral director, organist and clinician. He is music director at La Mesa Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque and teaches choral and vocal music at Santa Fe Community College.
When asked to describe the concert, Graham said, “The best of these folk song settings maintain the character of the original pieces while bringing something new and inspiring to the songs, and in this first concert we include settings and arrangements that meet this challenge.”
Deborah Wagner will be the piano accompanist with the assistance of Lin Raymond as second pianist for several numbers.
The 2018-2019 season of three concerts is its 41st season of serving northern New Mexico with the mission of entertaining, educating, uniting, and inspiring singers and audiences by performing great choral music.
Sangre de Cristo Chorale Music Director Fred Graham
Graham is a singer, organist, and conductor who has performed in these three roles throughout New England, New York, Washington, D.C., Louisiana, Arkansas, and Minnesota. In October 2016 he led his Minnesota choir on a European tour, which included performances in St. Ludwig’s Church in Munich, St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, and the Salzburg Cathedral. Graham was the founding Artistic Director of the Red River Chorale, a community chorus in Alexandria, Louisiana. Graham received a Master of Sacred Music degree from Boston University, where he completed a double major in voice and organ (with graduate recitals in each field) and a Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music with a voice major from Centenary College of Louisiana. He arrived in New Mexico in March of 2017, where he maintains a private voice studio, serves as Choral Director at Santa Fe Community College, and is Organist and Music Director at La Mesa Presbyterian Church. He said he is thrilled to be the new music director of the Sangre de Cristo Chorale.
Sangre de Cristo Chorale Accompanist Deborah Wagner
Wagner is a native of Las Vegas, Nev., and completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts at Arizona State University. She has earned degrees from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Northwestern University. She has performed with Santa Fe New Music, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Sangre de Cristo Chorale and Santa Fe Repertory Company. In addition to teaching and playing, Wagner regularly works with singers and instrumentalists in the Santa Fe area and toured soloists and choirs throughout the county.