PREVIEW: Lich Gate concert in Sheffield Park, June 11, with Jorge Ávila, Rachel Handman, Orlando Wells and Sarah Hewitt-Roth
Orlando Wells, Sarah Hewitt-Roth, Rachel Handman and Jorge Ávila will perform in recital at Sheffield Town Park on Saturday, June 11 at 4 p.m. Photo courtesy of Lich Gate Concerts
SHEFFIELD – With all due respect to the many classically trained musicians based in the Berkshires (many of whom are household names on other continents), it must be said that many Broadway pit musicians have skills that one not commonly found in the ranks of major symphony orchestras. This is because they spend so much time performing show music in addition to the standard orchestral repertoire familiar to their peers. Additionally, many pit players know how to improvise on their instruments, which is a must-have (if not required) ability when it comes to performing jazz, rock, country, bluegrass, and other styles. popular music commonly heard in Broadway productions. Four of these players will appear in the Sheffield Town Park pavilion Saturday June 11, at 4 p.m.for a chamber music recital presented by Lich Gate Concerts for Christ Trinity Church.
“But please, sir! What in heaven’s name is a lich gate? »
According to Christ Trinity Church, presenter of this concert series, a Lich Gate is a covered door at the entrance to an English-style cemetery. They say it marks the transition from the secular world to the sacred: “This concert series seeks to transport us from the routine of ordinary life and into the realm of music, which has the power to speak directly to our souls.”
The four musicians who will perform on June 11 are violinist and artistic director of Lich Gate Jorge Ávila, violinist Rachel Handman, violist Orlando Wells and cellist Sarah Hewitt-Roth. The presenter declares that these musicians are “based in New York”, which happens to be a simple way of saying that most of them have many Broadway credits in addition to their countless associations of orchestras and concerts. bedroom sets.
Resident of Sheffield Jorge Avila has played many interesting concerts in his career, but serving as concertmaster to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, during a televised mass held at Yankee Stadium, has to be one of the most memorable. Before becoming an American citizen, Ávila, born in Honduras, received his green card in the “extraordinary talent” category. His repertoire includes all the major violin concertos.
Ávila won the Omar del Carlo Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center and first prize at the 2001 Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Competition. He is concertmaster of the Ridgefield Symphony, Distinguished Concerts International New York, and the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series. .
Violinist Rachel Handman is comfortable with classical, bluegrass, Irish, pop and folk music. (That means she knows how to improvise.) Having toured Mexico with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas and Germany with the shows “My Fair Lady” and “On the Town,” Handman’s Broadway credits include “Dr. Zhivago,” “Something Rotten!”, “Miss Saigon,” “Carousel,” and “West Side Story.”
violist Orlando Wells performed or recorded with an impressive list of popular artists: Mariah Carey, John Legend, Rihanna, Harry Connick Jr., Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello and others – not to mention a long list of top Broadway shows: he is currently principal violist of the New York Pops, concertmaster of the Broadway show “Ain’t Too Proud” and violist of the Sweet Plantain String Quartet. (These kind of gigs go to players who not only have good chops, but exactly the right attitude.)
Orchestras Wells has performed with include the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular Orchestra, Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, Musica Sacra, New York Oratorio Society, Antara Chamber Orchestra, and the Ritz Chamber Players in Jacksonville, Florida. Wells studied with Michael Tree at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts as a double major on violin and viola.
Cellist Sarah Hewitt-Roth served as principal cello for 12 Broadway shows, including the critically acclaimed revival of “West Side Story.” She is a member of the New York Pops Orchestra and performs regularly at Carnegie Hall as the assistant principal cellist of the New York City Chamber Orchestra.
Here is Saturday’s schedule:
• String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18
• Concerto grosso n° 5 by George Frideric Haendel, op. 6 in D major
• Allegro from Symphony for Strings No. 2 in D major by Felix Mendelssohn
• “Lyric Quartet” by William Grant Still
Tickets are $40 for pavilion seats (chairs provided) and $20 for garden seats (bring your own chairs). Access to the lawn is free for children under 18.