Concert and Chamber Choirs

Williams Chamber Choir
"Musical Memorials"

Brad Wells, director

The Williams College Department of Music presents the Williams Chamber Choir under the direction of Brad Wells on Friday, April 23 and Sunday, April 25, at 4 p.m. at the Williams College Museum of Art. These free events are open to the public and do not require tickets.

A concert at Williams is never just a listening experience. Audiences from all over the region also enjoy the various venues that come along with the experience. The Williams College Museum of Art offers spaces that can be tailored to the music and the group. The Williams Chamber Choir is spoiled for choice in this wonderful structure, as are those who come to listen. This is not to ignore the very obvious presence of an art collection of breathtaking depth and beauty. This nexus of art, architecture and music should prove once again to be a blend that proves entertaining and inspiring to a broad audience.

Both masterpieces of German choral music allow the choir to take full advantage of the gorgeous acoustics in the museum, performing J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 106 (Actus Tragicus), which was written for a funeral and has the theme: Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (God’s Time is the very best Time). One of the gems of Bach’s early period, the work was written when he was barely older than most of members of the Chamber Choir are now.

Also on offer is another iconic piece from the 17th-century by Heinrich Schütz: Musikalische exequien, op. 7. Schütz was a Kapellmeister in Dresden and in his time exerted great influence over the development of church music. His music reflects his tenure in Venice and gives modern audiences a glimpse into another world, wracked by the thirty years’ war and the religious upheavals of Central Europe.

Williams College has long had a fine tradition of music performance in its choral ensembles. Brad Wells, Director of Vocal Activities, has helped that tradition flourish. The choral program has much to offer students interested in singing, with a number of performances throughout the year, a wide range of repertoire, recordings and tours.