Vista Philharmonic Orchestra: Voices Rising

Bruce Hangen, Artistic Director & Conductor

Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 7:30pm

The Concert Hall at Groton Hill


Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, Op. 56a
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Theme: Chorale St. Antoni. Andante
Variation I. Poco più animato (Andante con moto)
Variation II. Più vivace (Vivace)
Variation III. Con moto
Variation IV. Andante con moto (Andante)
Variation V. Vivace (Poco presto)
Variation VI. Vivace
Variation VII. Grazioso
Variation VIII. Presto non troppo (Poco presto)
Finale. Andante

Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618
Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791)

C. Thomas Brooks, Conductor & Artistic Director

Te Deum
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Te deum laudamus: Allegro moderato maestoso
Tu Rex gloriae: Lento maestoso
Aeterna fac cum Sanctis: Vivace
Dignare Domine: Lento

Elizabeth Baldwin, soprano
Philip Lima, baritone

C. Thomas Brooks, Conductor & Artistic Director

Nashoba Valley Chorale
Jonathan Colby, Guest Conductor

Sounds of Stow
Barbara Jones, Artistic Director & Conductor


On Music’s Wings
Peter Boyer (b. 1970)

I. Silver Fanfare
II. That Music Always Round Me (text by Walt Whitman)
III. To Music (text by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell)
IV. The Aim Was Song (text by Robert Frost)
V. Music (text by Conrad Aiken)
VI. On Music’s Wings: An anthem for children (text by Peter Boyer)

Groton Hill Select Chorus 
Kathy McMinn, Director

Lawrencian Chorale of Lawrence Academy
Jenny Cooper, Director

C. Thomas Brooks, Conductor & Artistic Director

Nashoba Valley Chorale
Jonathan Colby, Guest Conductor

Sounds of Stow
Barbara Jones, Artistic Director & Conductor

NOTE: Translations/lyrics for tonight’s choral works are linked below and will also be projected on the screen behind the orchestra during the performance.

Vista Philharmonic Orchestra

Bruce Hangen, Artistic Director & Conductor
Stone Family Endowed Music Director’s Chair

Violin I
*Alice Hallstrom, Concertmaster
Anabelle Hangen, Associate Concertmaster
Cindy Cummings
Jane Dimitry
Allan Espinosa
Stuart Schulman
Rebecca Hawkins
Libby Miller
Lauren Cless
John Castore
Elizabeth Whitfield

Violin II
*Stanley Silverman
Lynn Basila
John Guarino
Todd Hamelin
Laura Papandrea
Caterina Yetto
Nicki Payne
Susan Turcotte-Gavriel
+Angel Hernandez
Job Salazar

*Amelia Hollander Ames
Peter Sulski
Darcy Montaldi
Jing-Huey Wei
Lauren Nelson
Steven Sergi
+Dorcas McCall
Robert Kennedy
Jennifer Tanzer

*Young Sook Lee
Ben Swartz
Susan Randazzo
Priscilla Chew
George Hughen
Ashima Scripp
Nathaniel Lathrop
John Bumstead

*Kevin Green
Justin McCarty
Michael Simon
Joe Higgins
John Wall
Mark Henry


*Jessica Lizak
Jackie DeVoe
Peggy Friedland

*Jennifer Slowik
Elizabeth England

*Kelli O’Connor
Sandra Halberstadt
+William Kirkley

*Stephanie Busby
Isaac Erb
Susannah Telsey

*Kevin Owen
Nancy Hudgins
Nicholas Kneupper
Laura Crook Brisson

*Mary-Lynne Bohn
Mark Emery
Richard Watson

*Peter Cirelli
Alexei Doohovskoy
Donald Robinson

*Michael Stephan

*Karl Seyferth

*Michael Ambroszewski
Tom Schmidt
Greg Simonds
Nick Tolle
Aaron Trant

*+Maria Rindenello-Spraker

*Bonnie Anderson

Librarian: Kate Weiss

+Groton Hill Music School Faculty

Combined Choruses

C. Thomas Brooks, Conductor

C. Thomas Brooks,
Conductor & Artistic Director

Erin Campbell
Jessica Kelley
Sally Sadoian
Jennifer Schmunk

Lisa Bloom
Katherine Castellucio
Jennifer Conant
Sarah Dik
Catherine Hawkins Knell
Emily Plaisted

Bryan Bilyeu
Daniel Schmunk
Andrew Skinner

Jonathan Conant
Daniel Draper

Dean Blackette
Andrew Davenport
Brian Ocock 

Nashoba Valley Chorale
Jonathan Colby,
Guest Conductor

Nicola Barlow
Sarah Browne
Julie Corenzwit
Susan Hill
Alida Lupsiewicz
Lora Madonia
Melinda Stewart
Chen Yan
Judi Adamyk
Rose Golder-Novick
Kendra Kratkiewicz
Rosie Latto
Joy Curtis Madden
Fredrica Phillips
Sherry Ryder
Brenda Troup

Lillian Beean
Pamela Colt
Ruth Lyddy
Anna Mayor
Karen Pokross
Kathie Renzhofer
Michelle Stiller
Sharla Tracy
Charlotte Whatley
Wendy Cowen
Claire Hilsinger
Pamela Resor
Natasha Westland
Karen Emerson
Jin Hong
Nancy Stephens
Debra Strick

Tom Ryder
Art Schintzel
Jim Kay
Todd Shilhanek
Bruce Warren

Tim Butler
Jeffrey Caruso
Doug Clowes
Douglas Dalrymple
Bob Goldsmith
Yigal Hochberg
William Hoermann
Richard Hussong
Paul Harter
Griff Resor
Kenneth Troup
Chip Bliss
David Grubbs
Dane Krampitz
David Wolf

Sounds of Stow
Barbara Jones,
Artistic Director & Conductor

Judy Cronenberg
Karen Hunter
Odette Newsome
Gail Smith
Anne Thorne
Jane Bungard
Christina Kennedy
Nina Moss
Jan Sniffen
Elizabeth Swayze
Polly Oliver

Joanne Crowell
Deanne Glorioso
Barbara Jones
Koren Moore Kitagawa
Carol Olsen
Jessie Panek
Cary Perry
Anne Bonner
Heidrun Dickson
Madge Evans
Genevieve Laforet
Mary Littlefield
Eleanor Mathews
Evadne Moy

Bob Glorioso
Geoff Lull
Trish Woods
David Pergola
Steve Ruzich

Scott Feldhusen
David Gray
Jon Nelson
John Kendrick
Rollin Jeglum
Sal Triolo
Carroll Perry

Groton Hill Select Chorus 
Kathy McMinn, Director

Tanya Dayan
Natania Fernandez
Shriya Iyer
Madeleine O’Lalor
Layla Zaman
Evelyn Zuckerberg

Harmony Auguste
Mia Clements
Sarah Drowne
Lisa Hood

Lawrencian Chorale of Lawrence Academy
Jenny Cooper, Director

Janna Hindawi
Nadine French-Jordan
Paloma Harker
Veronica Fortune
Isabel Prudente
Lily Hogan
Alexandra Kelly
Jordyn Martis

Sophie Zimmermann
Ava Racanelli
Sky Lokere
Sally Hu
Abigail Remis
Gwenyth Dahl
Emma Zhou
Preslie Boo

Tanner Weiss
Evan Elibero
Alexander Kirby
Ketan Gordon
Theodore Baern

PROGRAM NOTES by Maestro Bruce Hangen

Johannes Brahms’ (1833 – 1897) “Variations on a Theme by Haydn” (1873) might more accurately be called “Variations on a Theme by an Unknown Composer.” This is one of those cases where the principal composer took a theme by a second composer but no evidence exists of that second composer ever having composed the piece in the first place. But for us, whether this particular was written by Haydn, or one of Haydn’s students, or someone entirely different, it’s really of no concern as the theme and variations is a remarkably successful––and now popular––composition. The theme, “Chorale of St. Anthony” (equally as anonymous as its composer) is unique in that it is constructed in 5-bar phrases, where the standard was always even numbers (4, 6, 8 etc.). It sounds perfectly normal to us, however, as its structure is wonderfully simple. There follows then a series of eight variations, all incorporating in some fashion the basic St. Anthony Chorale, but each with its own distinct tempo, orchestration, and mood reflecting perhaps the various views Brahms would have found during his walks in the Bavarian town of Tutzing where he composed the piece.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s (1756 – 1791) “Ave verum corpus” (1791) was one of Mozart’s very last compositions yet gives no indication of the struggle, in terms both musical and personal health, that Mozart was experiencing only months before his premature death. Composed for a choirmaster in a local church, the piece eerily foretells Mozart’s own demise. Martin Pearlman, Music Director of the Boston Baroque, has said that this piece “is only forty-six measures long, but they are perfect measures. In less than three minutes and with very few notes, Mozart reaches an emotional depth that few artists have achieved.” Sung in Latin, the text translates to: “Hail, true body born of the Virgin Mary, who was truly sacrificed on the cross for man. May you whose pierced side flowed with blood be for us a foretaste as we come to think of death.”

Antonín Dvorák’s (1841 – 1904) “Te Deum” (1892) is a four-movement composition featuring soprano and baritone soloists, full chorus and orchestra. Dvorák was asked to compose a celebratory piece for the beginning of his tenure as director of a newly-established music school in New York City. As the suggested American-themed text arrived too late for Dvorák to compose a full composition, in the meantime he composed this “Te Deum,” a rather typical text for any composer of the time to celebrate all manner of auspicious occasions such as this. As it turns out, Dvorák did eventually set to music the original text (“The American Flag”), though that piece comes nowhere near the reputation that his more famous “From the New World” Symphony has come to enjoy the last 130 years. Also sung in Latin, the text for this work will be displayed live on the screen behind the orchestra during the performance.

Peter Boyer (b. 1970) composed “On Music’s Wings” in 2004 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Pacific Symphony. Mr. Boyer writes of this piece that, “for this exciting occasion, it seemed fitting to select a number of texts which celebrate music, and each of the poems I chose did that in its own way. It is a reflection of music’s unique power that it can draw such divers and celebratory poetic responses. For the work’s finale, for which I was asked to compose an anthem that would be appropriate for children, and would celebrate music’s role in our lives, I searched in vain for a suitable text, and ultimately chose to compose the lyrics for this anthem myself. I reflected on music’s power to transport us to a place where ‘there are no walls to divide us’ and came to believe that ‘on music’s wings’ would be … an apt metaphor. We whose lives are touched by music are fortunate indeed, and I hope that in some small way this work helps to celebrate … music, that wondrous creation, itself.” We are exceptionally pleased that Peter Boyer will be in attendance at our Vista Philharmonic performance.


Elizabeth Baldwin, soprano

Praised as “ferociously talented” by the San Francisco Examiner, soprano Elizabeth Baldwin has been heard recently in Verdi’s Requiem with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Akron Symphony, Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder with the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, and in numerous opera company productions. She was also honored to return to her home state as special guest artist with Toledo Opera on their annual gala concert. An active recitalist with a deep passion for lieder, her most recent collaborations include recitals with the Ravinia Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Festival. Ms. Baldwin was a National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; Grand Prize winner in the Sullivan Foundation Competition and the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition; First Prize winner in the National Orpheus Vocal Competition, The National Opera Association Competition, The Heida Hermanns International Voice Competition and the Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition. She has also been awarded numerous grants from operatic organizations including the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation, and the Schulyer Foundation for Career Bridges.

Philip Lima, baritone

Baritone Philip Lima has regularly garnered critical acclaim for his performances on both concert and operatic stages: “His singing was glorious” (The Boston Globe) – “vibrant baritone and a commanding presence” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer). He has sung leading operatic roles for the international Kurt Weill Festival in Germany, numerous regional American opera companies, and the Handel and Haydn Society in works ranging from Handel’s Semele and Mozart’s Così fan tutte to Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Tosca, to Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic classics The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance. Mr. Lima has also appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops and over seventy orchestras, choral societies, and concert series across the United States and in Korea and Ukraine. He has been acclaimed for his performances of Lee Hoiby’s setting of the “I Have a Dream” speech of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and is featured on the recording of pioneering African-American composer Florence Price’s Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight that won the 2020 American Prize for the Performance of American Music. A native of New Bedford (MA) and an alumnus of Yale University, Mr. Lima studied at the Tanglewood Music Center and Boston University, and with Richard Conrad; and is the Assistant Chair of Berklee College of Music’s Voice Department.

C. Thomas Brooks, choral conductor

Tonight’s combined choruses conductor, C. Thomas Brooks, is Conductor & Artistic Director of the Boston-area ensemble Lyricora. An acclaimed conductor of choruses around the country, including ensembles in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Chicago, Mr. Brooks was formerly Chair of Fine Arts and Chair of the Department of Music at Gordon College, a position he held for 25 years. Since 1999 he has been Director of Music for Traditional Services at the historic Park Street Church in Boston. He was also conductor of the Montage Chamber Singers (1993-2000) and the chamber choir Cantillare (2003-2005). In 2008 Mr. Brooks became co-founder/co-director of the Salzburg Institute with its international symposia, lecture series, and summer undergraduate study program in Vienna and Salzburg. He has also been guest conductor of the Portland Repertory Opera Theatre (ME) and conductor with Commonwealth Opera and the Northshore Light Opera Company. Mr. Brooks has served as state president for the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and has conducted the Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island All-State Music Festivals. His educational video series, “Singing, Acting, Surviving,” coauthored with stage director Ronald Luchsinger, was released by TRL Enterprises in conjunction with Schaffner Music Publishers, which also publishes the “Thomas Brooks Choral Series.” He is currently co-authoring a new text on training the high school singer with his wife, soprano Susan Brooks.


Fred and Joan Reynolds and family

Randy Steere and Paul Landry

Bruce Hauben and Joyce Brinton / The Helen G. Hauben Foundation



Camilla Blackman
Bruce and Sue Bonner
Peter and Karen Burk
Barbara and John Chickosky
Priscilla Endicott
Matt and Judy Fichtenbaum and family
Phil and Carolyn Francisco
David Gaynor and Bernice Goldman
Mary Jennings and Jim Simko
Simon Jones and Richard Gioiosa
Bob and Sue Lotz
Carole and Art Prest
Pam and Griff Resor
The Riggert Family
Phil and Dorothy Robbins
Shepherd’s of Townsend
David and Bobbie Spiegelman
Randy Steere and Paul Landry