Mastersingers kicks off season Sept. 28

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerSeptember 28, 2012 

The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers will launch its 2012-13 season with a celebration of music from Bernstein and Rutter titled I a Child, Thou a Lamb.

Soprano Paige Cutrona is the guest soloist along with organist Kraig Scott, harpist Chelsea Spence, percussionist Carri Rose, countertenor Augustine Mercante, tenor Karl Hedlund and baritone Jeremy Irland.

This concert will be at the First Presbyterian Church in Kennewick. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and 3 p.m. Sept. 30.

On Nov. 4, the Mastersingers will have a royal performance featuring Giuseppe Verdi's comedy King for a Day. The music from the Italian two-act opera and guest singers will be provided by the members of the Seattle Young Artists program. This concert will be in the auditorium at Chiawana High School in Pasco. Showtime is at 3 p.m.

Justin Raffa, artistic director for the Mastersingers, has a passion for providing a wide range of music for his audiences.

"I always strive to pick music that gives the audience a wide variety of aural experiences, a balance of slow versus fast tempos, pieces that are a cappella versus pieces with piano versus instrumental," Raffa said.

And though it's difficult for him to say the new series is any more extraordinary than in years past, he does try to add a new and exciting element to each new season. This year, it's the addition of Egyptian American composer Mohammed Fairouz's new work, Anything Can Happen, which makes its West Coast debut in the Tri-Cities.

This concert will be at 7:30 p.m. March 22 at St. Joseph's Church in Kennewick and at 2 p.m. March 23 at St. Patrick's Church in Pasco.

The rest of the Mastersingers' new season includes its traditional Handel's Messiah concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Faith Assembly in Pasco and at 3 p.m. Dec. 2 at Walla Walla University Church in College Place.

In February, the choral group performs a double feature that will partner the Mastersingers with the Spokane Choral Artists as they sing hymns and songs that celebrate Easter, as well as favorite opera tunes.

The double feature will be performed Feb. 8 at St. Aloysious Church in Spokane and at 8 p.m. Feb. 9 and 2 p.m. Feb. 10 at Parish of the Holy Spirit in Kennewick.

Season tickets to the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers' five concerts are $80 and can be purchased at or by calling 509-460-1766.

Individual ticket prices to each concert are $20 for adults and free for students in grades K-12.

The Mastersingers also will be involved with special events outside their regular season. These include:

-- A choral festival for male singers Oct. 13.

-- Providing musical input for the Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre's production of Titanic -- The Musical in November.

-- A holiday friendraiser called A Dickens Delight on Dec. 16 at the Tri-City Country Club.

-- Appearing in the Mid-Columbia Symphony's May 18 concert featuring Haydn's Mass in Time of War at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;

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