MSOC presents coronation works

By Karen Greer
For The Journal Inquirer
April 8, 2010

MANCHESTER — For its next concert on Saturday, April 10, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale is rehearsing music that has inspired listeners for centuries. Some performers play instruments handed down through generations of musicians.

The program, directed by Kevin L. Mack and Lewis J. Buckley, includes the regal Crown Imperial march by William Walton. Soloists Tracy Thomas, Cynthia Trenholm, Stanley Wilson, and Ray Hardman are featured in Mozart’s exquisite Missa in C, popularly known as his Coronation Mass.

Also on the program is a selection of Handel’s Coronation Anthems, including Zadok the Priest, sung at the coronation of every British monarch since Handel composed it for King George II in 1727.

With such time-honored traditions, it’s surprising how many different ways MSOC uses the latest computer technology and social media to prepare for a concert.

MSOC has had a Web site for a number of years, ably managed by orchestra member Jack Summers. It’s always been the place to go for concert information and to learn about the many ways to contribute to the work of MSOC.

Recently, chorister Elizabeth Belbruno-Weber and her husband Matthew Weber set up a Facebook page. On the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale group page, members of MSOC and others who become Facebook friends can instantly post comments or photos, or send invitations to concerts and other events.

MSOC also creates podcasts, or short audio programs, as previews of upcoming concerts. It’s easy to listen to them at:

or to download the file to a computer or portable music player to play at any time. Listeners can even sign up to be notified when there’s a new episode.

Technology helps improve MSOC’s musical performance, as well. Choristers need to sing their parts accurately while others are singing something else. They can practice by playing one or all of the various parts on a piano, but that’s not easy to do while concentrating on singing. Fortunately, there are computer programs that can do that job anytime, and as many times as needed.

Of course, there’s much more to learning a work of music than just plunking out the notes. Musicians today can turn to the video sharing site YouTube, where they can view performances by groups of different sizes, musical styles, and quality.

Chorale soprano Diana Belbruno used YouTube to help clarify what the chorale’s music director, Kevin Mack, is looking for in MSOC’s own performance. “Once when I mentioned hearing a particular conductor’s rendition, Kevin said that was the opposite of how he wanted us to perform it.”

The virtual world may be enticing, but it’s no substitute for a live performance. Just as when it started 50 seasons ago, MSOC’s goal is to bring music to the real world.

Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, conducted by Mack and Buckley, will perform Coronation Music at Manchester Church of the Nazarene, 218 Main St., on Saturday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m..

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students over 18, and free for those under 18.

For further information, phone 860-645-1151, e-mail MusicSix [at], or visit the MSOC Web site at: