Arts & Entertainment

Mastersingers start new season Sept. 30

The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers silver anniversary season features a mix of music from Mozart to the Tri-Cities' own composer in residence, Reginald Unterseher of Kennewick.

Kicking off the season will be the Songs of the Saints event, which will feature Benjamin Britten's Saint Nicolas cantata as well as works by Mozart.

Special guests will be tenor J. Adam Shelton, organist Kraig Scott and the Chief Joseph Middle School Treble Choir.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at Central United Protestant Church, 1124 Stevens Drive, Richland.

There will be an additional performance at 3 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Walla Walla University Church in College Place.

"The first concert features three of my pieces, two of which are published by Oxford University Press," Unterseher said. "There will be more of my pieces and some new works as the season progresses."

Mastersingers artistic director Justin Raffa said each one of the concerts this season will feature a piece of music written by Unterseher.

"Reg was a former director of the choir back when it was called Consort Columbia and has returned to be a singer in the choir when I became conductor three years ago," Raffa said. "He is a dear friend and mentor, in addition to being my voice teacher."

Unterseher's works that will be performed throughout the season include A Mighty Fortress is our God; Lord, Thou Hast Searched Me and Sicut Cervus.

In December, the Mastersingers will join Maestro Yaacov Bergman and the Walla Walla Symphony for a performance of Handel's Messiah starting at 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at Walla Walla University Church in College Place.

A Christmas concert titled Carols and Lullabies Southwest will feature the melodic sounds of harpist Chelsea Spence-Crane on Dec. 16 in the chapel at St. Joseph's Church in Kennewick and again at 3 p.m. Dec. 18 at St. Patrick's Church in Pasco.

The spring concert is titled From Darkness Into Light and will feature the Mastersingers performing Randall Thompson's Alleluia and Heinrich Schutz's Seven Last Words.

The concerts start at 7:30 p.m. March 2 and at 3 p.m. March 4 at Shalom United Church of Christ in Richland and at 7:30 p.m. March 3 at St. Paul's Church in Walla Walla.

Wrapping up the Mastersingers season will be collaborative concert May 12 with the Mid-Columbia Symphony, led by conductor Nicholas Wallin. The evening features the music of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.

Season tickets are $80 for all five concerts or $20 for individual concerts. Tickets can be purchased at www.midcolumbiamastersingers.org or call 509-460-1766.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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