The Cornerstone Chorale & Brass perform at St. Michael’s, 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2.
The Cornerstone Chorale & Brass perform at St. Michael’s, 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2.
St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church presents Dr. Bruce Vantine’s Cornerstone Chorale & Brass, a widely acclaimed professional touring ensemble, at the church, 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2. Dr. Ellen Sloan, rector at St. Michael’s, serves as the guest narrator for the program. St. Michael’s Minister of Music Hank Glass also appears, as guest organist.

The concert features a unique combination of traditional choral and instrumental music with narration, all of which is woven together to musical themes. It offers a unique faith experience, reflecting on three-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer Archibald MacLeish’s famous words to describe the July 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing: “To see the earth as it truly is…is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together: Brothers [and sisters] in the eternal cold.”

The performance includes works by J. S. Bach, the early Italian Baroque composer Lodovico Viadana, popular church composer and arranger Jane Marshall, the American orchestral, winds and choral composer Daniel Kallman, and the American Lutheran choral conductor and composer Paul J. Christiansen. The performance also features music newly composed by Vantine.

Founded by Vantine in 1988, Cornerstone consists of 28 professional vocalists, brass players, a keyboardist, percussionist, clarinetist and narrator. The group is currently on an 18-concert tour, with performances in 9 states across the Midwest and South. Since its inception, Cornerstone has presented more than 460 performances throughout the United States.

According to Vantine, the concert contains a special message about faith. “Cornerstone offers a moving program encouraging unity and hope in a time when many Americans are often discouraged by the difficulties we face as a nation,” says Vantine. “It is a program about God’s love for humankind.
It helps us see that it is within our power as individuals to make a difference, and that we have many opportunities to work together to respond to human need.”

New York music critic Ken Smith wrote of Cornerstone’s Lincoln Center performance: “The Cornerstone Chorale & Brass is a top-notch ensemble with a high level of musicianship. Vantine’s singers are superb. The choir demonstrates a fine blend of vocal quality with dead-center pitch and a rhythmic precision most vocal ensembles would kill for. The brass quintet is crisp, carefully balanced, both within itself and with the chorus. The evening provided a message of great importance.”

The concert is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required. Freewill donations will be gratefully accepted. A Meet-the-Artists reception, with light refreshments, follows the concert in the church’s Parish Hall.

For more information on the Music Ministry and special musical events at St. Michael’s, contact Rector Ellen Sloan, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, 2304 Periwinkle Way, 472-2173