Heliand Consort’s 13th season continues with “Winter Gathering” Feb. 21-23, a series of three programs in which music and poetry inspired by this darkest of seasons are seamlessly knit together. Heliand’s “Gathering” series offers listeners an hour in community to reflect on each of the seasons in New England as heard in folk music, popular songs, chamber music and poetry.
The Vermont professional ensemble performs “Winter Gathering” at 7:30 p.m. Friday Feb. 21 at Middlebury Community Music Center, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Ahaveth Gerim Synagogue in Burlington’s North End, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 at York Street Meeting House in Lyndon.
“Winter Gathering” includes selections from Vivaldi’s “Winter,” Waldteufel’s “Skaters Waltz,” a Troika (or sleigh ride) by Prokofiev, Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” and others. Winter songs include Vermont composer Don Jamison’s “Stars” and “Night Song” and Graeme Miles’ “When the Snows of Winter Fall.” The featured artwork for “Winter” Gathering is “Stars,” a block print by Lyndonville artist Mary Simpson.
Heliand Consort (pronounced “hell-ee-und”) is a woodwind and piano ensemble of native Vermonters or longtime residents featuring flutist Berta Frank, oboist Katie Oprea, clarinetist Elisabeth LeBlanc, bassoonist Rachael Elliott, and pianist Cynthia Huard. Now in its 13th season, the group has appeared throughout Vermont and in New Hampshire, upstate New York, and on three tours of North Carolina.
Heliand’s “Gathering” series was inspired by the success of the ensemble’s “Kindred Spirits” program, introduced last year, in which the music of Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann, and Robert Schumann is juxtaposed with readings from their letters to one another, letters which illuminate the deep friendship between the three, in addition to highlighting each composer’s significant contribution to the musical landscape.
“Audiences have responded so enthusiastically to the mix of music and letters,” reports oboist Katie Oprea. “We’ve been experimenting with moving fluidly between the chamber music and readings to create a more theatrical experience for the audience and performers. It’s been magical.”
Admission is by donation; call 802-535-6244, or go online to www.heliandconsort.org.