Choral Society Heralds Spring

    The Choral Society of the Hamptons will explore three centuries of music in its spring concert on March 18 at 5 p.m. at the East Hampton Presbyterian Church. Jesse Mark Peckham will conduct and three soprano soloists will participate.
    The 60-member Choral Society has chosen music by Mozart, Fauré, and Rutter, whose sacred music is marked by exquisite melody. Members of the South Fork Chamber Ensemble will accompany the chorus on harp, flute, oboe, glockenspiel, cello, and timpani. Thomas Bohlert, the music director of the church, will play the organ.
    The program will include the “Laudate Dominum” from Mozart’s “Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore,” composed in the 18th century, Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine,” written in 1865, and Rutter’s seven-part Requiem, which premiered in Dallas in 1985. Also on the program are solo arias from Bach’s Cantatas 94 and 110, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Pie Jesu,” and “Whosoever Saves a Single Life” by Charles David Osborne.
    The Rutter Requiem has become one of the most popular works in the choral repertory, largely because of Rutter’s gift for melody. The principal work on the program, it uses texts, in both Latin and English, from the Catholic Mass as well as from the Bible’s Book of Psalms and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
    Silvie Jensen, a mezzo-soprano from New York City, will be the soloist in the Requiem. Ms. Jensen has appeared nationally with major orchestras and in recitals and has been a soloist in works from Bach to Mahler to Philip Glass. She also will sing the Bach arias “Ach Herr! Was Ist ein Menschenkind,” from Cantata 110 (for oboe, continuo, and voice) and “Betorte Welt,” from Cantata 94 (for flute, continuo, and voice).
    In a centerpiece of the concert, Mr. Peckham’s wife, Vanessa Hylande Pokor­­­­ny,­ a soprano, and his 8-year-old son, Emmett Schwartzmann, already a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s professional children’s chorus, will sing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Pie Jesu.”
    Perhaps less known to audiences than the other composers, Charles David Osborne is a tenor noted for his oratorio, “Souls on Fire,” based on a book by Elie Wiesel. “Whosoever Saves a Single Life” is a motet. Its simple text is taken from the Talmud.
    At the age of 18, Mr. Peckham was invited to conduct the Beethoven Chamber Orchestra in the Czech Republic, which led to appearances with many of the country’s leading orchestras and a position as artistic director of the Czech World Orchestra, in which he served for almost four years. In the United States, he founded Khorikos, which is a professional a cappella ensemble that performs throughout the metropolitan region and has toured in the Czech Republic and Germany.
    A benefit cocktail party and dinner have been planned for after the concert at the Palm restaurant on Main Street. Tickets to the concert are $25 in advance or $35 at the door for adults, and $10 or $15 for those under 18. Tickets for the cocktail party alone are $75. The cost of cocktails and dinner is $200. Tickets can be obtained and reservations made through the society’s Web site choralsocietyofthehamptons.org.
    The Choral Society’s next concert will be July 7, at the Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church Parish Hall in East Hampton. Works by Haydn and Handel will be performed under the direction of the society’s music director, Mark Mangini.