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May 24, 2012 - 2011-2012 Bach’s Lunch Series Closes with Music of the Shakers

CONCORD, NH –   The 2011-2012 Bach’s Lunch Series concludes on Thursday, June 7 with a lecture by music preservationist Roger Lee Hall titled “Celestial Praises: Music of the New Hampshire Shakers.” On Thursday, June 14, Kathryn Southworth will lead the Canterbury Shaker Village Singers in a concert titled “Sweet Communion.” Bach’s Lunch programs are free, and take place in the Music School’s Recital Hall, 23 Wall St., downtown Concord, from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m.

The Shakers are America’s oldest religious communal society and the most musically prolific of any American communal sect, with more than 10,000 tunes composed between the 18th and 20th Centuries. In his June 7 lecture, Hall will offer a selection of Shaker spirituals from the two communities in New Hampshire -- Enfield and Canterbury -- from two CDs he has compiled: “Blended Together” and “Gentle Words.” One of the hymns he will explore, “Celestial Praises,” was “received” by the Shakers in 1841 and serves as an example of the gift of receiving music from the spirit world. The following week, on Thursday, June 14, the Canterbury Shaker Village Singers will present a concert titled "Sweet Communion.” Led by music director Kathryn Southworth, this group of about 20 experienced singers share an enthusiasm and dedication to the music and philosophy of the Shakers. The program will take the audience from the earliest form of Shaker music -- textless tunes -- through their first forays into four-part harmony, and up to the present as their spirited and vital music endures through arrangements by living composers.

The Bach’s Lunch Series received a 2007 Best of NH Award from New Hampshire Magazine, named as an Editor's Pick - “best place to bring a brown-bag lunch.” The Bach’s Lunch Series is sponsored by The Timothy and Abigail B. Walker Lecture Fund and The Couch Trusts, TD Bank, N.A., Trustee. Call 603-228-1196 for information, or visit the website www.ccmusicschool.org.

About the speaker/artists:

Roger Lee Hall, speaker, is one of the foremost Shaker music scholars, having studied the topic for forty years.  He has compiled, edited and arranged over 100 Shaker tunes for performance and published many of them in music collections. He has worked as consultant or singer on eight CDs of Shaker music and has written information on Shaker music for the extensive online web site at American Music Preservation.com. More information about his background can be found here.

Kathryn Southworth is piano department chair at the Music School. She holds a B. Music degree in piano performance from Oberlin Conservatory and an M. Music degree in vocal accompanying and coaching from the University of Illinois. While pursuing her graduate studies, she held an assistantship as staff accompanist under the tutelage of acclaimed accompanist John Wustman, and served as a musical ambassador to Costa Rica as accompanist for soprano Ollie Watts Davis. She has been a collaborative pianist for such organizations as Opera North, Dartmouth College, Plymouth State University and Boston Ballet, and has also served as music director, accompanist and organist for numerous theater and choral groups throughout New England. Currently, she is accompanist for Belle Voci, and performs regularly with the Musicians of Wall Street Ensemble. She has served as a piano faculty member at Plymouth State University and St. Paul’s School, and currently serves as music director for the Canterbury United Community Church and the Canterbury Shaker Village Singers.