Friends of Music at Guilford’s 53rd Labor Day Weekend Festival continues at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 2, with a performance by the Guilford Festival Orchestra under the baton of Kenneth Olsson. Their all-English repertoire includes excerpts from “Abdelazer, or The Moor’s Revenge” by Henry Purcell; five pieces by Frank Bridge, arranged for winds; two pieces for small orchestra by Frederick Delius, and Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, featuring soloists Joshua Collier, tenor, and Jean Jeffries, horn. Sunday’s traditional finale is a sing-in of Randall Thompson’s Alleluia, popular with orchestra and audience members; bring the score if you have it, or borrow a FOMAG copy.
American tenor Joshua Collier, praised for his “thrilling high range” and “passionate commitment to character,” was hailed as “a great Italian tenor on the make” byBoston’s Classical Scene in his June 2016 role debut as Roméo in Roméo et Juliette. A graduate of The New England Conservatory with an M.M. in Vocal Performance, he has appeared throughout New England and beyond in operatic roles from Rodolfo in “La Bohème,” Macduff in “Macbeth,” and Frederic in “The Pirates of Penzance” to B. F. Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly.” In addition to the lyric stage, Mr. Collier has performed the tenor solos in much of the symphonic and oratorio repertoire. In 2013, Mr. Collier founded Boston’s Opera Brittenica, championing the works of Benjamin Britten, and is currently the artistic director of BARN OPERA in Brandon, Vermont.
Jean Jeffries, a graduate of Harvard College, teaches horn and chamber music at three of the Five Colleges in the Pioneer Valley. She lectures and performs throughout New England on modern, natural, and baroque horn. Her interest in promoting and performing contemporary music has resulted in several commissions, the most recent being a setting of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “The Fish,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan, and “The Rusalka” for horn and piano by Clifton J. Noble.
Grounds open at 12 noon for picnicking and lunch sales. In case of serious threat of rain on Sunday, the lunch and orchestra concert will move to West Village Meeting House at 29 South St. in West Brattleboro, just over a mile from Exit 2 of I-91, across the road from the fire station; check website and Facebook after 9:00 a.m.
Festival events are admission-free with donations welcome. Tree Frog Farm is at 158 Kopkind Rd., off Packer Corners Rd. in rural Guilford; follow signs for 9 miles from Rt. 5 by the Guilford Country Store, near Exit 1 off I-91, or, coming from Massachusetts on Rt. 5, follow signs from Keets Brook Rd. in Bernardston for about 5 miles. For further information and a 2018-19 Season Calendar, contact the Friends of Music office at (802) 254-3600 or email@example.com. Visit online at www.fomag.org and Facebook.