The title of the next program prepared by the International Orange Chorale of San Francisco (IOCSF), the only ensemble to have named itself after the color of the Golden Gate Bridge, is Freshly Squeezed: New Music by and for IOCSF. This title refers to last year’s launch of the Freshly Squeezed Composition Competition, whose submissions were reviewed and evaluated at the beginning of this year. The grand prize winner was David Avshalomov, who submitted “O Euchari.” This is a setting of Hildegarde of Bingen’s ecstatic vision of the Eucharist from the second part of her first work, Scivias, which consists of texts, miniature illustrations, and songs. Avshalomov has drawn upon the chant practices of Russian Orthodox liturgical music.
Two “runner-up” submissions will also be performed. “Elohim Hashivenu” is a setting of the Hebrew text of Psalm 80 composed by Salvatore LoCasio, which draws upon the choral version of tone clusters. By way of contrast, “Strings in the earth and air” is a lyrical setting with poignant dissonances of the first poem in James Joyce’s Chamber Music collection by Bryan Lin.
Composer-in-Residence Elliott Encarnación will contribute to the program with “The Mariner,” his distillation of verses from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In addition IOCSF soprano Elizabeth Kimble”s “The Peace of Wild Things,” a setting of a text by Wendell Berry, will also be performed. These five premiere performances will be complemented by four pieces new to the Bay Area. One of these is by IOCSF Joshua Saulle, currently a doctoral candidate in composition at the University of California in Los Angeles. IOCSF will sing his setting of verses from the Song of Songs, “Arise, my love.” The other three Bay Area premieres will be “Love, thricewise” by Joe Gregorio, a setting of the Latin text of the Lord’s Prayer by Ivo Antognini, and “Ne irascaris, Domine” by Frank LaRocca. As usual the conductor will be Zane Fiala.
This concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. The venue will be St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church at 3281 16th Street, located in the Mission. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.