Songs of romance, passion, vanity and loss
With guest conductor Shawn Condon
3pm, Sunday 22 April 2018
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Hill Street
Programming a concert is one of those tasks that make conductors cringe but—deep down—they secretly enjoy. Kind of like love?
In this concert, Nota Bene presents songs about the different shapes of love in our lives, how it changes over time, and the agony, passion, obsession, anger and confusion we experience under its spell.
The programme features works from Hugo Alfvén and Jean Sibelius—representing the staid and steadfast—to C. V. Stanford’s Elizabethan Pastorals, exuding the charm and innocence of young love. Works of lesser-known composers like Juha Holma, Mia Makaroff and Jonna Salminen also feature, as well as contemporary choral legends like Eric Whitacre and Morton Lauridsen.
In the latter part of the programme we will sing an arrangement of Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye and a piece by Japanese composer Toru Takamitsu, typically known for his instrumental compositions, both masterfully written with sumptuous and colourful jazz chords that leave you wanting more. Naturally, you can’t call a programme 'Love’s Illusions' without showing a little love to Joni Mitchell—we have a brilliant transcription of Both Sides Now, as arranged by the Australian vocal ensemble, The Idea of North.
Love's Illusions is directed by Shawn Michael Condon. Shawn maintains an active career as a conductor, teacher, pianist and accompanist. As a choral conductor he was recently appointed to the position of Artistic Director of the Bach Choir of Wellington. In addition to his choral conducting, Shawn is a tutor in the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing at Massey University and sings bass in Nota Bene.
His current research interests include improving expressivity in choral singing, teaching expressivity, creativity in the choral rehearsal, and health and wellbeing through choral singing.
A New Jersey native, Shawn now calls Wellington home, but most recently hails from Jyväskylä, Finland, where he is finishing his PhD in music education at The University of Jyväskylä. Prior to his arrival in New Zealand, Shawn earned a Master degree in Music, Mind & Technology from the University of Jyväskylä and his Bachelor of Music degree in Choral Music Education and piano from The College of New Jersey, following which he served as the Director of Choral Music for Ramsey Public Schools, in New Jersey.
As Shawn so aptly puts it: “So yes, I was blinded by love in selecting this repertoire and the choir fell in love at first sight (with the music)—we hope you will, too!”