PLYMOUTH — Two of New Hampshire’s best-loved choral groups — the New Hampshire Master Chorale and the Pemigewasset Choral Society — will team up to offer “Gather at the River,” a pair of concerts on the banks of the Pemigewasset River in Plymouth on Saturday, June 19, and Sunday, June 20. The performances are among the first live, in-person concerts since the pandemic interrupted these events 15 months ago.

The concerts invite audiences to reflect on endurance, renewal and hope — universal themes as the nation begins to emerge from a dark period.

The concerts will take place at Rotary Amphitheater Riverfront Park behind Main Street in Plymouth, on Saturday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 20 at 4:00 p.m. Audiences are invited to bring cushions, blankets, portable chairs and picnic baskets. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

“I like the idea of gathering at the river as a community of singers, family and friends to celebrate the summer solstice, a return to live singing, and our continued recovery from the pandemic,” says Dan Perkins, director of the New Hampshire Master Chorale, an acclaimed 30-voice chamber choir.

Perkins says the experience of rehearsing with masks, after many months of not singing at all, “has been emotional and life-affirming, but the freedom of making music without masks is almost sinfully refreshing. After the stilted and comparatively cold Zoom experience, I know our audiences will love hearing and feeling live music again. I can’t wait!”

Will Gunn, director of the 60-voice Pemi Choral Society and a tenor in the Master Chorale, said being able to sing together in person again “was incredible. There was so much frustration and lack of satisfaction with Zoom rehearsals, and when we could come back together and sing in a group it was really special.”

The choruses will separately sing a diverse selection of pieces – including several with “river” themes – and join together for “The Ground,” a chorale drawn from the “Sunrise Mass” by the Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo.

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