CONCORD — In celebration of his 40th year of research and recording, composer and Shaker music scholar, Roger Lee Hall, has produced a new CD with over two dozen beautiful Shaker songs and hymns from the 19th and 20th centuries.
A concert celebrating the release of the CD will be performed at the Concord Community Music School in Concord, NH on Saturday, November 16 at 7 p.m. The Canterbury Singers, the New Hampshire based ensemble featured on the CD, will perform original Shaker tunes as well as more recent arrangements for solo voices and instruments. Tickets are $15. Seniors and ages 12 and under, $10. Call 783-4632 for more information.
This CD titled, Celestial Praises - A Celebration of Shaker Spirituals, is the fourth in the Shaker Music Series as part of the American Music Recordings Collection.
It contains 25 premiere recordings and focuses on Shaker music from New York State and New England, especially New Hampshire and Maine. Most of the music features arrangements by two composers. There are 15 Shaker songs and hymns arranged by Conrad Held (1894-1955) and recorded for the first time. The music is performed by various soloists and instrumentalists.
Also, there are 10 arrangements and compositions by Roger Lee Hall (b. 1942), including a set of piano variations on a Shaker marching tune and two Shaker prayer hymns based on poems by a Shaker sister from Maine. Also, Mr. Hall's arrangement of the last known Shaker song, "My Shaker Home," composed at Canterbury Shaker Village in 1959, which Mr. Hall discovered in 2009. The CD features music from Canterbury and Enfield, New Hampshire; Alfred and New Gloucester, Maine; Harvard and Hancock, Massachusetts, and several other Shaker communities. The music on the CD is performed by soloists, including several talented young musicians, and The Canterbury Singers, all under the musical direction of Kathryn Southworth.