Victorian Flourish

Victorian Flourish


Saturday, April 27, 2019, St. Michael Church, Wheaton 
Sunday, April 28, 2019, Baker Memorial Church, St. Charles

St. Charles Singers to Bring ‘Victorian Flourish’

to Season-Finale Concerts

 Editor: Photos available. Email or phone (847) 868-1417

ST. CHARLES, Ill., Feb. 22, 2019 — The St. Charles Singers will conclude their 35th concert season with an eclectic program of Victorian-era choral works, both secular and sacred, from the British Isles, the U.S., France, and Germany.

            The mixed-voice professional chamber choir conducted by Jeffrey Hunt will present its “Victorian Flourish” concerts 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2019, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 310 S. Wheaton Ave., Wheaton, Illinois, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave., St. Charles.

            “The Victorian era was a Renaissance for choral music,” Hunt says of the period marked by the reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901.

Unique Musical Personalities

            Hunt says the era’s celebration of individual artistic expression and embrace of unique musical personalities is reflected in the works chosen for Victorian Flourish, the St. Charles Singers’ first-ever program devoted to music by a broad range of composers from a specific historical period.

            Charles Woods’ famous Anglican Church anthem for double choir, “Hail Gladdening Light,” opens the program, followed by two works by Felix Mendelssohn. These include the German composer’s Drei Geistliche Lieder (Three Sacred Songs) for alto soloist, choir, and organ; and the fourth movement from his Sonata No. 1 for solo organ. Written in 1844, it was considered extraordinary in its day. St. Charles Singers organist Michael Giuliani calls it a “brilliant” work “with “pianistic arpeggios throughout, previously unseen in organ literature.”

            American composer Horatio Parker was a student of Germany’s Josef Rheinberger. Parker’s “Jam Sol Recedit” (Now Sinks the Sun) and Rheinberger’s “Abendlied” (Bide With Us) “share a richness of color and musical expression indicative of choral music of this period,” choirmaster Hunt says.

            Charles Villiers Stanford’s Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in G Major, Op. 81, are among the works he wrote for the extraordinary cathedral choirs of Cambridge, England.

Playful French Songs           

            Hunt calls Claude Debussy’s whimsical, imaginative “Trois Chansons” (Three Songs) “a remarkable time machine that skillfully brings Renaissance-style singing into the 20th century.” The songs are based on playful poems about feminine beauty, early morning fatigue, and winter’s unpleasantness.

            After singing Henry Leslie’s sweetly nostalgic “Charm Me Asleep,” the choir will perform several part songs, which are a cappella works on non-religious themes. Typically, one choir section sings the melody and the other voices sing harmony. R.O. Morris’s “Blow away the Morning Dew” is a fun-loving outing in the style of an English madrigal. Frederick Delius’s charming and transcendent “Two Songs to be sung of a summer night on the water” are vocalises — songs without words — where the choir sings the syllable “ah” under a tenor solo. Stanford’s “The Blue Bird” evokes an aerial view of a quiet lake.

            The concert concludes with Hubert Parry’s “I was Glad when they said unto me,” an anthem played at all British coronations since the early 1900s.

Tickets and Information

            Single tickets for Victorian Flourish s are $35 adult general admission, $30 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for students.

            Tickets and general information about the St. Charles Singers are available at or by calling (630) 513-5272. Tickets are also available at Townhouse Books, 105 N. Second Ave., St. Charles (checks or cash only at this ticket venue). Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the day of the concert, depending on availability. Group discounts are available.

St. Charles Singers

            Founded and directed by Jeffrey Hunt, the St. Charles Singers is a professional chamber choir dedicated to choral music in all its forms. The mixed-voice choir launched in St. Charles in 1984 as the Mostly Madrigal Singers. calls the ensemble “one of North America’s outstanding choirs,” citing “charisma and top-notch musicianship” that “bring character and excitement to each piece.” Chicago Tribune classical music critic John von Rhein described the ensemble as “splendidly disciplined, beautifully responsive” and proclaimed, “Chamber chorus singing doesn’t get much better than this.”


St. Charles Singers 35th Anniversary Season

Next:  Candlelight Carols

St. Charles Singers well-loved welcome to the holiday season includes festive and contemplative pieces, traditional and some lesser known carols, and a newly commissioned work by composer in residence, Nathaniel Adams.  repeat customers know that the St. Charles performance sell out, so don’t wait to purchase your tickets!

Fri, Nov 30, 2018, 7:30 pm, * Baker Memorial United Methodist Church                                 
Sat, Dec 1, 2018, 7:30 pm, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL  60611    
Sun, Dec 2, 2018, 3:00 pm, *Baker Memorial United Methodist Church

 Victorian Flourish   
Join us for an exploration into an amazingly creative period in choral music featuring the music of Debussy, Mendelssohn, Stanford, Rheinberger, Delius, and other Victorian era composers.  Most of the music will be a cappella, but some works will be accompanied by Michael Scott Guiliani, our choir’s collaborative pianist.

Sat, April 27, 2019, 7:30 pm; St. Michael Church, Wheaton, IL  60187
Sun, April 28, 2019, 3:00 pm; *Baker Memorial United Methodist Church

* Baker Church is located at 307 Cedar Ave., St Charles, IL 60174

Individual Tickets:  $35 – adults; $30 – seniors; $10 – students (ID may be requested)
Subscribers by September 30, 2018 to receive 20% off ticket purchase for Candlelight Carols and Victorian Flourish