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World Premiere at Smithfield Church

Music Preview
by Kevin T. McEneaney
Mon Nov 26th, 2018

Smithfield Church in Amenia

Smithfield Church will host its annual Christmas Concert & Tea at 4 pm on December 1. This year’s concert will present a World Premiere of Dr. Hampson Sisler’s “A Midnight Clear, Christmas organ miniatures” which has just been published by Sacred Music Press, a division of Lorenz Publishers. Sisler was named "one of the significant composers of contemporary America" by The Organ Magazine, London.

Sisler’s first works were published at age nineteen. He earned a licentiate in organ and related subjects from Trinity College of Music, London, at the age of 16, and achieved the fellowship certification in the American Guild of Organists at age 17, as one of the youngest ever to receive this distinction. Sisler has written more than one hundred works for solo instruments, organ, voice, choir and orchestra. His works have been performed and recorded world-wide with leading orchestras in his native United States as well as Argentina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Israel, Philippines, Portugal, Russia and the Ukraine, etc. Most of his orchestral works have been recorded on the MSR Classics label.

“A Midnight Clear: consists of ten movements: “A Children’s Christmas,” “Chorale Voluntary on ‘Lo How A Rose’, ” “Voluntary on ‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’,”  “Processional:  ‘Once In David’s Royal City’, “ “Offertory on ‘Greensleeves’, “ “Postlude on ‘Ding-Dong Merrily’,” “Prelude on ‘St Louis’,” “Toccata on ‘Humility’, “Postlude on ‘Regent Square’,“ “Voluntary on ‘Divinum Mysterium’ .“

A Church Ensemble Consort, Choir and Performers, will perform: Kyle Behnken, Rob Murphy, Piotr Kargul​, “For unto Us A Child Is Born” by George Frederic Handel (1685-1759); The Smithfield Church Ensemble, BWV 248 No. 64 “Christmas Oratorio” (Arr. Matt Finley) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750); Akiko Kamagawara on violin with Michael Pennington on piano, La Plus Que Lente by Claude Debussy (1862-1918); Michael Pennington, Capriccio in B minor, Op. 76 N0. 2 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897); Lynette Benner on flute, Syrinx by Claude Debussy (1862-1918); Kevin T. McEneaney, poem “Joyslide”; Monte Stone, “I Wonder as I Wander” by John Jacob Niles (1892-1980); congregation, “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”; Dr. Hampson A. Sisler, “A Midnight Clear, Christmas Miniatures for Organ,” World Premiere Performance; Matt Finley “Trumpeter’s Lullaby” by Leroy Anderson (1908-1975); Emcee Denise Jordan Finley, “I Saw Three Ships”; congregation, “Joy to the World.”

The Smithfield Church Ensemble, directed by Matt Finley, consists of: Norman Baker-clarinet; Kyle Behnken on double bass; Lynette Benner on flute/cello; Matt Finley on trumpet; Piotr Kargul on viola; Akiko Kamagawara and Rob Murphy on violins; Michael Pennington on piano. Choir includes: Jane Levi; Linda Kinney; Patty Ann Lloyd; Sharon Webb; Susan Bang; Liz Faulkner; Leila Hawken; Walter Britt; Bruce Chabica; Monte Stone.

There will be a Passing of the Plate for your kind donation to help fund handicapped access (elevator and new bathroom) for the Smithfield Church (Rte 83 in Amenia). After the concert there will be refreshments and eclectic goodies to consume while you mingle with performers.