The Jan. 28 Da Camera Singers’ concert “Endless Air” had NMH connections from the first note to the last. One highlight was the world premiere of “Hold,” which was composed by NMH performing arts teacher Craig K. Sandford.
Sheila Heffernon, chair of NMH’s performing arts department, conducted the Da Camera Singers, a group of accomplished area vocalists. For this concert, the adult group was joined by students in the Northfield Mount Hermon Singers and the Select Women’s Ensemble.
Paul Cohen, who teaches cello at NMH, was a featured instrumentalist, and former NMH piano teacher Marianne Lockwood was the accompanist.
The NMH Singers and Select Women’s Ensemble performed music Sandford wrote for those groups several years ago. Da Camera — aided by Lockwood, two French horns and an English horn — gave the premiere performance of “Hold,” which Sanford composed for them. The piece is a five-movement setting of a poem written by Anna George Meek, an award winning poet and 1987 NMH graduate. Meek was present at the concert, and spent the following week as poet-in-residence with the NMH English department. (Read an article about her visit here.)
The repertoire also included an extraordinary double chorus motet by J. S. Bach that is rarely performed; Bach chorales; and music by Randall Thompson and Frederic Sixten.
Watch video of the fifth movement of "Hold." (Video by Glenn Minshall)