For the third straight year, the Chatham Chorale will showcase Celtic-themed music and Cape Cod guest musicians in concerts on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. As before, the concerts will take place at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in West Harwich, on Saturday, March 14 at 7:00 pm and Sunday the 15th at 2:00 pm.
“This year I’ve chosen some of the best of the music we’ve offered in our previous Celtic programs,” says Music Director Joseph Marchio, who will lead the 90-voice Chorale, vocal soloists, and Celtic musicians from around the Northeast. They include harpist Maeve Gilchrist, fiddler Rose Clancy, bagpiper Sarah Marchio, and guitarist and singer James Rice.
The program includes such well-loved tunes as “Annie Laurie,” “Down by the Sally Gardens,” “The Galway Piper,” and “Danny Boy.” The instrumental trio of Clancy, Rice, and Sarah Marchio will perform dances from Ireland and Scotland, while Gilchrist offers her unique, world-music style of harp playing, infused with jazz and Latin as well as Celtic flavors. The Chorale will reprise the stirring Kevin Montgomery arrangement of “Highland Cathedral” (Scotland’s unofficial anthem), as well as “The Lord Is My Shepherd” from St. Patrick’s Mass by Philip Green (performed in its entirety in 2013).
In a departure from the mix of traditional and classical pieces presented in the earlier concerts, this year’s “Encore” features songs from two classic Broadway musicals based on stories and sounds from Celtic lands: Brigadoon and Finian’s Rainbow—performed by Irish tenor Richard Sullivan, with support from the Chorale and pianist Donald Enos.
The Cape has become a magnet for musicians from many backgrounds who form a community dedicated to exploring the rich tradition of Celtic music. Edinburgh-born Maeve Gilchrist grew up immersed in traditional music, to which she returned after intensive classical training there and at Berklee College of Music in Boston (where she now teaches folk harp). She tours internationally, records frequently, and collaborates with leading contemporary musicians such as the bassist Esperanza Spalding. Rose Clancy, a violinist since childhood, began making fiddles at age 42; on moving to Chatham, she created a vibrant traditional music scene at the Chatham Fiddle Company. Her fiddle style embraces Northern Irish, Scottish, and French Canadian influences.
Harwich native Sarah Marchio has reached the highest levels of competitive and professional Scottish bagpiping and is also a virtuoso on the small pipes, which she plays with the Celtic trio. Sarah can be heard collaborating with Rose Clancy on the newly released CD Sessions at The Chatham Fiddle Company. Another frequent collaborator with Clancy is the talented multi-instrumentalist James Rice, a Cape Cod native who has been singing and studying the nuances of “Americana” music for more than two decades.
Richard Sullivan has appeared in all three of Chatham Chorale’s celebrations of Celtic music. His fine tenor voice and flair for drama make him a sought-after performer in Cape Cod musical theater productions; he has also performed in regional theaters around the country as well as Off Broadway and at Lincoln Center.
Chatham Chorale is in the midst of one of its busiest seasons ever, with these March concerts, two concerts in April featuring the Chamber Singers and Music Director Joe Marchio on the organ, and the Cape Symphony’s presentation of Orff’s Carmina Burana in early May. One of Cape Cod’s longest-established choral ensembles, the Chorale has for 44 years presented an annual concert series with programs ranging from choral masterworks to Broadway, pops stylings, and premieres of new works by regional composers. The Chorale and Chamber Singers also regularly collaborate with the Cape Symphony and sing in service to the community.
Tickets ($30 reserved/$25 open seating) can be purchased by telephone, 888-556-2707, or at the door the day of the concert. Students and those under 18 admitted free with a ticket (call the number above). For more information, visit www.chathamchorale.org.