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Mastersingers to open new season with ‘Music in Transition’

By Staff | Sep 4, 2019

The Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers will open its 19th season on Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. with a performance in the U. Tobe Recital Hall at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.

The concert will feature the organization’s Chamber Chorus under the direction of Artistic Director Shannon Arnold. Entitled “Music in Transition,” the program features selections written by composers facing challenges and changes in their lives.

The imaginative theme behind the program mirrors the Mastersingers’ season as it works with a new conductor while seeking to build on the growth and successes of the recent past. Reflecting Arnold’s desire to add more female composers to the Mastersingers’ repertoire, the program includes works by Abbie Betinis, Maddelena Casulana and Mendelssohn’s sister, Fanny Hensel.

“The Chamber Chorus is proud to present Music in Transition as our first concert for the 2019-2020 season. We are going back in time, starting in the Renaissance period, acknowledging composers who used choral music to overcome challenging times in their lives,” she said. “I am very excited to start the season with such a great mix of selections in such a wonderful hall to make music.”

The ensemble will sing music as diverse as a William Byrd piece from the 16th century, works of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, to contemporary selections composed by Susan La Barr and Mastersingers’ Vice President Dr. Jason Bahr, an FGCU faculty member.

“I am very pleased to have one of my pieces included in the Music in Transition program. All persons will face trials in their lives, but how does one respond? For a composer, often the answer is to create music,” he said. “My work, ‘Song of Praise,’ was written at a particular moment of crisis for me. Doctors had recently discovered a major congenital heart defect which required extensive surgeries to repair. Between two open heart surgeries, I wrote this piece. On the chamber singers’ program, I will be making music with my friends, including this piece I wrote about my faith – what can be better than that?”

Tickets for the performance are $10 for non-students and $7 for students.

They can be purchased at the door day of or in advance at www.mastersingersfm.com.

The full Mastersingers chorus will begin rehearsals for the season on Sept. 9th at Peace Lutheran Church, at 15840 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Auditions are being held for singers in all voice parts.

For more information, visit www.mastersingersfm.com.