Tower Hill Oratorio Choir Offers ‘Gospel Mass’

Adam K. Peithmann directs the Tower Hill Oratorio Choir

The Tower Hill Concert Series presents the annual concert by the Oratorio Choir, March 25 at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank, 255 Harding Rd.

The concert is under the direction of Adam Peithmann, the church’s director of music ministries. The Oratorio Choir includes singers from the Tower Hill Choir joined by members of area choirs and choruses.

The featured work on the program is Gospel Mass by Robert Ray. Ray is an associate professor of music at the University of St. Louis who enjoys a national reputation as a conductor, composer, and lecturer. He established the Black Student Chorus at the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Also on the program are the “Kyrie” and “Gloria” from Mass by William Byrd (1540-1623). Byrd, a favorite musician of Queen Elizabeth I, was a prolific English Renaissance composer who wrote in many forms, including anthems and madrigals.

“The sung mass is a form that has endured over the ages,” says Adam Peithmann. “This program presents two very different approaches—by a contemporary musician who writes in the gospel idiom and by an early musician whose work is an archetype of 16th century composition.”

An offering will be taken. Proceeds from this concert will benefit Tower Hill’s local and international mission work with organizations that include Lunch Break, Habitat for Humanity, Aslan, Church World Service, and educational and medical charities in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The church is handicapped-accessible.

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