World-Renowned Choral Conductor Directing a Performance Featuring Professors Donna Di Grazia and Thomas Flaherty
The Millennium Consort Singers are returning to Pomona for a performance on Saturday, October 4, under the direction of Martin Neary. The choral group, which includes Professor of Music Donna M. Di Grazia, will be performing a work by Kurt Rohde and John P. and Magdalena R Dexter Professor of Music Thomas Flaherty.
The concert will juxtapose old and new, interweaving ancient themes with modern compositions, including two pieces each by William Byrd (Renaissance) and Benjamin Britten (20th Century), and one piece each by Prix de Rome prizewinner Kurt Rohde and Flaherty, both of whom represent the 21st century.
Flaherty’s composition, Shakespeare Sonatas, was originally written for the Pomona College Glee Club, debuting in 2004. The piece was chosen by Neary when, during discussions about the current performance, he asked Flaherty if he’d written any choral pieces. “I was of course delighted that he was interested in the piece, and look forward to the performance,” says Flaherty. “The group is terrific, and is presenting a challenging program.”
Martin Neary, former organist and master of choristers at Westminster Abbey, was appointed by the Queen of England as Lieutenant of the Royal Victoria Order in appreciation of Neary directing the music for Princess Diana’s funeral. He reprised that role in the critically acclaimed film The Queen. His CD, Music for Queen Mary—Henry Purcell was nominated for a Grammy, and he’s led the Winchester Cathedral and Westminster Abbey choirs on tours worldwide.
Founded in 2007, the 15-member Millennium Consort’s premiere performance was given at St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles in April of that same year. The Los Angeles Times praised one performance as “vividly conveyed…effortlessly spanned the centuries…and [Neary’s] gifted consort took the audience back to the future.”
The concert will be held at 8 p.m. in Pomona College’s Bridges Hall of Music (150 E. Fourth St., Claremont). Admission is free. For more information, call: (909)-607-2671, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.music.pomona.edu.