Heliand Consort’s ‘Winter Gathering’ To Celebrate The Season In Music And Poetry At York Street Meeting House

The Heliand Consort will perform at the York Street Meeting House in Lyndon on Feb. 23. (Courtesy Photo)

LYNDON — Heliand Consort’s 13th Season continues on Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. when the Vermont ensemble returns to perform Winter Gathering at the York Street Meeting House, 153 York St. in Lyndon. They will perform a unique concert that flows between poetry readings and music inspired by this darkest and coldest of seasons. Heliand’s Gathering series creates a special hour in community to reflect on and honor each of the seasons in New England as expressed through folk songs, chamber music and poetry.

The program includes selections from Vivaldi’s “Winter,” Waldteufel’s “Skaters Waltz,” a Troika (or sleigh ride) by Prokofiev, Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” and others. Winter songs include Margaret MacArthur’s “Vermont Sugar-Maker’s Song” and Don Jamison’s “Stars.” The featured artwork for the concerts is “Stars” by Lyndonville artist, Mary Simpson.

Heliand’s Gathering series was inspired by the success of the ensemble’s “Kindred Spirits” program, introduced last year, in which the music of Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann, and Robert Schumann is interspersed with readings from their letters to one another.

“Audiences have responded so enthusiastically to the mix of music and letters,” reports oboist Katie Oprea. “We’ve been experimenting with moving fluidly between the chamber music and the readings to create a seamless experience for the audience and performers. It’s been magical.”

“We had a great time last summer with our first Summer Gathering tour. It was especially meaningful to hear the poetry selections read by so many different voices in each community,” says bassoonist Rachael Elliott, a founding member of Heliand Consort, who grew up in Lyndon. “We’re delighted to continue this series in Lyndon, thanks to the support of the Upright Steeple Society, which operates the York Street Meeting House.”

Heliand Consort (pronounced “hell-ee-und”) is a woodwind and piano ensemble of native Vermonters or longtime residents featuring flutist Berta Frank, oboist Katie Oprea, clarinetist Elisabeth LeBlanc, bassoonist Rachael Elliott, and pianist Cynthia Huard. Now in its 13th season, the group has appeared throughout Vermont and in New Hampshire, upstate New York, and three tours of North Carolina.

Children and families are welcome. Handicap parking and access are available at the rear of the building. For more details, visit www.heliandconsort.org or call 802-535-6244.

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