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Bucks Choral Society sings César Franck’s “The Beatitudes”


The Bucks County Choral Society, conducted by Artistic Director Thomas Lloyd, will present the modern regional premiere of “an important but neglected work” written as an oratorio by César Franck titled “The Beatitudes” with the orchestra Symphony in C and five guest soloists.

Believed to be the first regional performance since 1903, the concert will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 3194 Cold Spring Creamery Road, Doylestown.

As part of the Choral Society’s promotion of the concert, it is releasing a series of two-minute video interviews with local pastors and social service organizations to share their reflections on the application of one of “The Beatitudes” and its meaning in the present time.

This is in keeping with the society’s mission as a non-affiliated performance organization to reach across boundaries of religion and culture to connect its music to the everyday lives of its diverse audience.

Included with the guest soloists is baritone Randall Scarlata in the central role of Jesus. Scarlata was nominated for a Grammy award this year for his recording of Schubert’s “Winterreise” with Gilbert Kalisch.

Other soloists include tenor Dann Coakwell, who received a Grammy in 2014 as a vocalist in the recording of “The Sacred Spirit of Russia,” mezzo-soprano Misoon Ghim, who has won acclaim as an opera singer, baritone Jason Switzer, and making her debut with the Choral Society, soprano Melissa Mino.

The final program of the Choral Society’s 2018-2019 Season “From Handel to Ellington–Bringing Sacred Traditions to Life,” will be Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts,” in collaboration with the Jay Fluellen Jazz Ensemble with new orchestrations by Clayton White. Choral Society favorite and original Ellington soloist DeVonne Gardner will perform.

The concert will be given at 2 p.m. June 1, at the Philadelphia Cathedral and 4 p.m. June 2, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.