Winner named for 2019 Composition Competition

Michael Sitton, Winner of the 2019 Grace Church Composition Competition

We are pleased to announce that Michael Sitton is the winner of the 2019 Grace Church Composition Competition.   His work, O Emmanuel, for chamber orchestra, choir and soloists will be given its premiere on December 8, 2019 by the Rutland Area Chorus and Festival Orchestra.

O Emmanuel is a choral setting of a litany based on the Advent “O Antiphons,” for mixed choir, with a small solo group employed to sing an unaccompanied recurring refrain.  The piece is a predominantly lyrical setting with a quiet opening and closing and a variety of moods and textures within the setting reflective of each verse in the text. Instrumental support is primarily provided by string ensemble with additional support and added color from organ and timpani; a pair of oboes are featured both as solo instruments and for occasional doubling and obbligato material. While the text clearly ties to the Advent tradition and to Hebrew and Christian scriptures, the content is largely nonsectarian in its thrust and speaks to universal aspirations of hope and longing.

 

Michael Sitton - .jpgMichael Sitton has served since 2009 as Dean of the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, with previous service as Dean of Fine Arts at Eastern New Mexico University, and prior work as a music faculty member at several institutions. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His M.Mus. was earned at the University of Kentucky, and the B. Mus., summa cum laude, from Mars Hill College in his native North Carolina. He also holds the Diplôme de concert from Paris’ Schola Cantorum, where he studied as a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar of the Fondation des Etats-Unis with pianist Gaby Casadesus, and attended the Conservatoire Américain at Fontainebleau.

Although by training and academic appointment a pianist, Michael Sitton has pursued a lively interest in composition, especially of choral music, during most of his career. A formative experience in this regard was singing under Choirmaster Jerald Hamilton in the Canterbury Choir of the Episcopal Chapel of St. John the Divine at the University of Illinois. His choral compositions have been commissioned and performed by numerous churches and choirs nationwide, including commissions for national conferences of the Association of Anglican Musicians; other honors include numerous ASCAP annual awards. Over thirty of his works have been published by nine different publishers, and have been featured on recordings by preeminent ensembles as well as national radio and television broadcasts. He has had Vermont premieres of choral works at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Burlington and Christ Episcopal Church in Montpelier.

He has performed widely as a recital and concerto soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist, and has conducted masterclasses, workshops, and written for publications in piano literature and pedagogy. He has served as a member of the Commission on Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Music and as one of its Accreditation Visitors, and has engaged in numerous campus, regional, and state initiatives in public and higher education in both New Mexico and New York.

Michael Sitton has announced his plans to retire from service as Dean of The Crane School in the summer of 2020, at which time he will become a full-time resident of Vermont, joining his partner Mark, who is on the staff of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, at their new home in Barre. Although he has been active both as a performer and composer during his administrative appointments, Sitton looks forward, once living full-time in Vermont, to increased activity in both of those musical areas.

For additional information: www.michaelsitton.com.

 

Oct. 20 ~ Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra at Grace

Grace Church welcomes Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra

When: Sunday, October 20 at 4 p.m.

Where: Grace Church Sanctuary, 8 Court St., Rutland, VT.  We are located on the corner of Court and West.  For parking, enter our lot from West Street.   Street parking is also available on Court Street.  The handicap entrance may be accessed through the north side portico of Grace Church via the parking lot.  The elevator is located in the central part of the building.

About:  We welcome the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra and their director, Matthew LaRocca, to Grace Church as part of the CPO’s Fall Season. Tickets will be sold at the door for $15 (general), $10 (seniors) and $5 (students). The program will include Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, Copland’s ‘Rodeo’ and William Grant Still’s ‘Wood Notes’.

Sept. 22 ~ Peace Concert

Join us on Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at Grace Church for an afternoon of music.  

When: Sunday, Sept. 22, 4 p.m.

Where: Grace Church Sanctuary

About:  The Southwest Association of the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ and Grace Congregational Church will be hosting a concert promoting peace, unity and friendship around the globe.  The Grace Church Sanctuary Choir will be joined by local choirs to offer songs of peace.  You are also invited to a reception that will follow the concert.

* A freewill offering will be accepted. 

Jun. 30 ~ Event of Talent & Phantom

You’re invited to the end-of-the-season Grace Church Music Cabaret, featuring the Rutland area’s most talented singers, dancers, and actors!

When: Sunday, June 30th @ 7:00 PM (refreshments are available prior to the show and during intermission).

Where: Grace Congregational Church, in the exciting new multi-purpose space of Grace Church Sanctuary.

ACT 1 will be featuring a variety of acts including singing, acting, and dancing. Arrive early to enjoy refreshments and to view video installations and artwork on display by local artists.

ACT 2 will feature a medley from PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

Based on the 1910 horror novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera follows a deformed composer who haunts the grand Paris Opera House. Sheltered from the outside world in an underground cavern, the lonely, romantic man tutors and composes operas for Christine, a gorgeous young soprano star-to-be. As Christine’s star rises, and a handsome suitor from her past enters the picture, the Phantom grows mad, terrorizing the opera house owners and company with his murderous ways. Still, Christine finds herself drawn to the mystery man. The medley will feature singers from the Grace Church Sanctuary Choir, the Grace Church Youth Choir, Joyful Noise, and friends from all over the Rutland area. A band of professional musicians will accompany the selected solos and choruses in this abridged retelling of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s longest running hit!

May 19 ~ RAC Spring Concert

Sunday, May 19, 2019 ~ Rutland Area Chorus Spring Concert at 4 pm

The RAC will be joined by a professional brass and percussion ensemble to offer John Rutter’s world-famous, Gloria and Jesu, Joy of Mans Desiring by J.S. Bach. The Grace Sanctuary Choir will also sing Rutter’s setting of Psalm 150, which was written in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.  The brass ensemble will give the world premiere of a new arrangement of the Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547, by J.S.Bach.

A freewill offering will be accepted towards the concert and performance series at Grace Church.  A reception will follow in the Grace Fellowship Hall.

Apr. 28 ~ Spring Hymn Sing

Spring Hymn Sing – April 28 at 4pm

Please join us in the Grace Church Sanctuary to sing seasonal hymns. Baritone, David Castonguay, will perform The Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams accompanied by Alastair Stout. A reception will follow in the Parlor.

March 31 – Benefit Concert

Each year, Mentor Connector volunteers guide over 150 vulnerable youth (age 5-21) through life-changing friendships to build goals, character, and skills to be successful in life. Everything they do, every family they serve, and every dollar they spend is focused on creating sustainable, lasting change for Rutland County youth.

Join us on March 31st to support Mentor Connector at our Benefit Concert full of many local musicians, including:

Grace Church Sanctuary Choir
Slate Valley Singers
Grace SSAA Choir
Jennifer Hoult, harp

David Castonguay, baritone
Barry Cohen, bassoon
Court Gettel, flute
Christy Papandrea, flute
Diane Chartrand, piano
Alastair Stout, piano

*Freewill Offering will be collected to support Mentor Connector.

Mar. 10 – Grease!

Join Grace UCC’s Annual Joyful Noise Showcase of Talent

WhenMarch 10 at 6pm

Where: Grace Sanctuary

We are located on the corner of Court and West.  For parking, enter our lot from
West Street.   Street parking is also available on Court Street.

The handicap entrance may be accessed through the north side portico of Grace Church via the parking lot.

About:  Our youth choirs, Joyful Noise and the Children’s Choir, will offer songs, including a medley of choruses and solos from Grease. The singers will be accompanied by a band of local musicians, and also be joined by choirs from local schools. Please come and support our talented youth, who will be raising money for the HEAL organization. Refreshments will be available to purchase before and during the performance, which begins at 6pm.

* If you would like to donate to the HEAL Fund.  Click here

@healraisingourworld

Feb. 23 – Shetland Night

Grace UCC Music Ministry welcomes you and yours to the 2nd Annual Shetland Night.  Join us for a night of food, fun and fellowship!

When: February 23rd at 5:30pm
Where: Grace UCC Fellowship Hall

We are located on the corner of Court and West. For parking, enter our lot from West Street. Street parking is also available on Court Street.

The handicap entrance may be accessed through the north side portico of Grace Church via the parking lot. The elevator is located in the central part of the building.

About:  Suggested donation ~ $10; proceeds will benefit the Grace Organ Repair Fund

Tatties ‘n Point at 5:30pm – baked potato bar with assorted toppings to choose from.
Pictures at 6:15pm – A short presentation of pictures from Fair Isle – Shetland’s most remote inhabited island – where Alastair spent his summer holidays!

Dancing at 7:00pm – Traditional Scottish dancing led by John Kirk and Trish Miller

Promote Shetland

* Can’t make it to the event, but you would still like to donate to the Grace Organ Repair Fund?  Click here

Youth Group – Jan. Calendar

Sunday, January 6
Join us before worship for pancakes and then for the Epiphany Hymn Sing at 4 p.m. and Tree Burning at Ashcroft-Billings Farm at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, January 13
Come join us for a “normal” night as we begin preparations for Youth Sunday!

Saturday, January 19
Rutland Meals Project – The Rutland Meals Challenge packaging event will be held on Saturday, January 19. Since 2013, the Rutland Meals Challenge has added many meals to the local emergency food system. We have provided meals to a dozen local food shelves,
including the Community Cupboard of Rutland and the Vermont Food Bank. This year they would like to add 35,000 servings to that total, and need over 200 people to make this event a success! There are opportunities for set-up, breakdown, packaging shifts, box builders, carton hauling & stacking, and movers & shakers (who refill the food bins as we work). Each volunteer must sign up individually, even if part of a team. There will be several shifts: 9:30-11a.m.; 11-12:30 p.m.; 12:30-2 p.m.; 2-3:30 p.m.

Sign up to volunteer for the 9:30-11 a.m. shift or another time that works for you.

Sunday, January 20 to Monday, January 21
Lock in! See Tracy for details.

Sunday, January 27
Welcome Table Dinner and Youth Sunday planning! We will gather at 3 p.m. to continue our work on Youth Sunday, then move up to Fellowship Hall to help in serving the dinner at 5 p.m.