Apollo’s Fire will be presenting “Glory on the Mountain: An Appalachian Journey” for its 2014 Countryside series. The work created by Jeannette who also directs and stars singers Amanda Powell and Ross Hauck. The program will be performed in a series of eight concerts in rustic venues at Hunting Valley, Chardon, Bay Village and Bath. The concerts will be held June 12 through 22, 2014.
The new program came about as a result five years ago when Apollo’s Fire performed “Come to the River: An Early American Gathering” which resulted in nine sold out concerts and a Billboard Classical Top-10 CD. Requests began coming in for a follow-up program but Sorrell felt that the new program would have to be different and “go more deeply into the repertoire and its historical roots - and more deeply into the Appalachian psyche and experience.”
After two years of contemplation and research into the British Isles music that found its way to Appalachia and the building of a group of musicians and singers whose unique talents are able to cross the lines of early music and traditional British Isles and Appalachian folk music “Glory on the Mountain” is now ready.
Through music, song and a bit of storytelling, “Glory on the Mountain” explores the joys and sorrows of daily life among the early settlers in Appalachia. Sorrell said, “The rich repertoire of renaissance English and Scottish ballads took on its own life in Appalachia during the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. As the old songs came across the water, they evolved into different versions reflecting the Appalachian psyche and experience. Likewise, the lively fiddle tunes of the British Isles appear in Appalachian sources in differing versions,” she said. “And then, these people encountered the African slaves and their spirituals. I think at that point, when the British Isles music met the influence of the spirituals, that’s when Appalachian music came fully into its own as a unique and distinctive repertoire.”
“Glory on the Mountain” is more than the singing and playing of “old songs”. It is a unique musical journey that traces the voyage of the British and Celtic immigrants who came to America to rebuild their lives in the Appalachian Mountains region. The music is a celebration of love and loss, dancing and prayer as the people raise their voices as offerings. In keeping with the core value of “Come to the River”, Sorrell has customized the work around the unique talents and personalities of the individual performers.
The cast of performers includes:
Amanda Powell, soprano vocals – a young and brilliant early music artist who grew up singing Appalachian songs “loudly from the back of my grandpa’s pick-up truck in West Virginia,” as she describes. Powell was featured with AF last spring in the national tour of “Come to the River.”
Ross Hauck, tenor vocals – beloved by AF audiences for his performances in both Handel’s Messiah and Celtic folk programs. The grandson of a Southern preacher, he is deeply steeped in southern folk hymns and storytelling.
Tina Bergmann, hammered dulcimer – a regular favorite with AF, Tina is widely regarded as the leading dulcimer player of North America. Peter Seeger called her “the best dulcimer player I’ve heard in my life.”
Susanna Perry Gilmore, fiddle – studied violin performance and musicology at Oxford University in the UK, while also playing Celtic folk music in pubs with traditional Irish musicians. Though presently concertmaster of the Omaha Symphony, she grew up playing country fiddle.
The program also features AF favorites Kathie Stewart on wooden flutes and René Schiffer on cello, as well Brian Kay on lute, guitar and banjo. (Full bios follow at the end of this press release.)
The program includes historic/traditional Elizabethan/Appalachian ballads such as “Twa Sisters” (Two Sisters) and “Edward & Queen Jane”; British and Celtic fiddle tunes such as “Farewell to Ireland”, “The Highlander’s Farewell”, and “Over the Isles to America”; early American party/play songs such as “A Frog He Went a-Courtin” and “Robin Hood” (a 3-part round with audience participation); a set of virtuoso fiddle variations on “Oh Susannah”; early American shape-note hymns; a couple of early Civil War songs; spirituals such as “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” and “Glory, Glory” (Lay My Burden Down); and a bluegrass song called “Sweet Appalachia”.
Sorrell said she is excited to have the chance to create a second early American program. “With ‘Come to the River,’ I was pretty much a newcomer to the field,” she said. “I spent two years putting together that program, but I was just starting to get to know the repertoire and the style. I thought we would workshop the program the first year – presenting it only for our local audience, before taking it on tour. But instead, it ended up premiering in 9 sold-out concerts – that’s not really a workshop! So I felt I never got the chance to experiment. This time, I have the foundation of everything I learned about this music and this type of programming, and I’m building on that. I feel I’m starting from a deeper place. And I’m thrilled about the fantastic colleagues who will be performing.”
The Countryside Series this year includes two Special Events
Young Adult Night: The Friday, June 20 at Bath Church, UCC, in Bath, Ohio. This evening is open to the general public, but will feature steep discounts for anyone under the age of 30. The concert will be followed by refreshments, conversation with the artists, and an Old-Fashioned Country Dance on the Lawn (weather permitting).
Children’s Concert: Join select musicians for a 45-minute children’s version of the concert presented on Saturday, June 21, 4:00 PM at the Bath Church - for the young and young-at-heart! $10 Adults / $5 Children under 18.
CONCERT DATES & VENUES:
Thursday, June 12, 7:30 PM
Baroque Music Barn
Friday, June 13, 8:00 PM
SW corner of Shaker Blvd.
& Chagrin River Rd.
Hunting Valley, OH 44022
Saturday, June 14, 8:00 PM
Sunday, June 15, 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 15, 2:00 PM
28601 Lake Road
Bay Village, OH 44140
Friday Night at Bath
Special YOUNG ADULT DISCOUNTS!
Friday, June 20, 8:00 PM*
Saturday, June 21, 8:00 PM*
Bath Church UCC
3980 W. Bath Road
Bath, OH 44210
Sunday, June 22, 3:00 PM
Geauga Lyric Theater
101 Water Street
Chardon, OH 44024
* Free student tickets to the 8:00 Bath concerts underwritten by the GAR Foundation.
Also Catch the Children’s Concert version!
Saturday, June 21, 4:00 PM*
Bath Church UCC
3980 W. Bath Road
Bath, OH 44210
Tickets range from $17-$50, dependent upon location.
Student and group discounts are available in select seating sections.
Children’s Concert tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 18.
Call (800) 314-2535 or visit www.apollosfire.org for details.