Guilford, Vt. – Friends of Music at Guilford (FOMAG) presents its 52nd season finale on Friday, June 8, an annual three-part event dubbed “A Cappella à la Carte.” Set at two neighboring churches in the Algiers village of Guilford, just over a mile south of Exit 1 off I-91, the evening’s menu includes a short meeting, a potluck picnic, and a 7:30 concert of vocal music. Each optional segment is open to the general public; admission to the concert is by donation.
Beginning at 6 p.m. in Christ Church, at the corner of Melendy Hill Rd. and Rt. 5 south, the FOMAG Annual Membership Meeting is typically short and entertaining, and offers a summary of the year, a look ahead to next season, and election of the board of trustees.
The ensuing Community Potluck Picnic, from about 6:30 to 7:00, is open to all who contribute to the meal. Entrées, appetizers, salads, side dishes, and desserts are welcome; the desserts are held aside for a post-concert reception.
The musical portion of the evening moves to nearby Guilford Community Church, across Rt. 5 at 38 Church Dr. This year’s A Cappella Concert at 7:30 features two ensembles, the Guilford Chamber Singers and the Cantabile Vocal Ensemble. Under Tom Baehr’s direction for a sixth season, the Chamber Singers’ current members are sopranos Christina Gibbons, Elizabeth Lewis, and Sarah Lott; altos Beth McKinney, Laurie Schneski, and Joy Wallens-Penford; tenors Steven John and Bill Johnson; and basses Orion Barber, Calvin Farwell, and Tom Green. Their ten songs are set to texts by iconic American poets Dickinson, Frost, Longfellow, and Sandburg, as well as others perhaps less well known: Wendell Berry, Amelia Earhart, Robert Hillyer, Sara Teasdale, and Jones Very. Composers of their often harmonically rich settings include Greg Bartholomew, Jean Berger, Edward Elgar, Gregory Hutter, Andrew Maxfield, Daniel Pinkham, Cyril Taylor, Isaac Woodbury, and director Baehr.
The Cantabile Vocal Ensemble, a quintet of musical professionals based in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, is planning a program of “Works by 10 Centuries of Women.” Members of Cantabile include Justina Golden, alto, and Peter Shea, tenor/baritone, who performed as guest soloists with the Brattleboro Concert Choir in May. Ms. Golden is also known to Tri-State audiences as a frequent Messiah Sing soloist with FOMAG. Sopranos Diana Brewer and Kayla Werlin, and tenor James Mead round out the group. Founded in 2002, originally as an octet, Cantabile has always specialized in music of the European Renaissance, with far-ranging forays into other repertoire. The ensemble has been featured in music series from Boston to Warwick, N.Y., as well as by local presenters the Arcadia Players, Mohawk Trail Concerts, and the Renaissance Center at UMass, among a number of others.
A festive dessert reception caps the evening. Guilford Community Church is handicap-accessible. An elevator takes wheelchair-bound or mobility-impaired visitors to and from the Sanctuary on the second floor.
For further information, contact the Friends of Music office at (802) 254-3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit online at www.fomag.org. FOMAG’s 52nd season media sponsors include Vermont Public Radio and the Vermont Arts Council.