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Gerald Carpenter: April Brings Shower of Westmont ‘Masterworks’

The College Choir and Orchestra will perform Friday in the first of a monthlong series of concerts

Student musicians at Westmont College have channeled their spring fever into a monthlong marathon of “Masterworks Concerts,” most of them free of charge.

The first concert, by the College Choir and Orchestra at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday in First Presbyterian Church, reunites old English tune collectors Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

We’ll hear the last movement of Holst’s astrological epic, The Planets, “Neptune, the Mystic,” with its ephemeral, haunting women’s chorus, and Williams’ moving cantata Dona nobis pacem, which sets texts from the Mass, three poems by Walt Whitman, a political speech and the Bible.

Admission is $10, collected at the door.

That will be followed by a series of four free concerts, starting with a Wind Chamber Concert (program to be announced) at 8 p.m. April 14 in Montecito Covenant Church, 671 Cold Springs Road.

Other events will be a Composer’s Concert at 9 p.m. April 19 in Deane Chapel at Westmont; a String Chamber Concert, marking the dedication of a new ensemble, the Hubert Schwyzer String Quartet, at 8 p.m. April 21 in El Montecito Presbyterian Church, 1455 East Valley Road, playing a program of works by Ludwig Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Franz Schubert and Alexander Glazunov; and, lastly, the Spring Choral Concert (program to be announced) featuring the Women’s Chorale, the Men’s Chorale, the First Year Chamber Singers and the College Choir, at 8 p.m. April 23 in Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State St.

Westmont’s April shower of masterworks concludes with a Concerto Concert at 8 p.m. April 30 in First Presbyterian Church, featuring young soloists and the College Orchestra performing the third movement of the Concerto in E Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 64 by Mendelssohn, and the first movement of the Concerto in A Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 16 by Edvard Grieg.

Admission will be $10, with tickets sold at the door.

For more information about music at Westmont, call 805.565.6040 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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