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British Masterworks Highlight BU Orchestra Finale Concert

May 5 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Free – $10

A musical reunion and farewell will be combined as two hundred musicians fill Binghamton University’s Osterhout Concert Theater with the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams on Sunday, May 5 th at 3 P.M. The program “In Pursuit of Peace” will reunite Soloists Soprano Mary Burgess and Baritone Timothy LeFebvre with the University Symphony Orchestra -in its final concert under retiring Music Director and Conductor Prof. Timothy Perry -for a performance of Vaughan Williams’ 1936 cantata Dona Nobis Pacem. The cantata will also feature a 140-voice chorus comprising three chorus – the Harpur Chorale, Binghamton University Chorus and the Southern Tier Singers’ Collective, under the direction of BU Choral Director William Culverhouse, and the VOCI Chamber Singers of SUNY Oneonta directed by Prof. Timothy Newton.

The cantata, whose title Dona Nobis Pacem means literally, ‘Give Us Peace’, is Vaughan Williams’ impassioned plea written in 1936 under the darkening shadows of the Second World War. Drawing from a variety of biblical texts, three powerful Civil War poems by Walt Whitman, and an excerpt from British parliamentarian John Bright’s famous anti-war speech “The Angel of Death”, its six connected movements are among music’s most powerful statements warning against the horrors of war.

The first half of the program features one of classical music’s most beloved works, Vaughan Williams’Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, composed in 1909 for double string orchestra. In a unique presentation, The Fantasia will be immediately preceded by a choral performance of its theme: Tallis’ 1567 psalm setting of “Why Fum’st in Fight”, conducted by William Culverhouse, Director of Choral Activities at Binghamton University. The Tallis Fantasia for double string orchestra was the first blockbuster composition by Vaughan Williams to achieve worldwide fame after its premiere in 1909. It quickly became the emblem for the rich British revival combining indigenous folk music with the compositional forms and styles that drew its inspiration from the glorious English music of the “golden’ Elizabethan age (1556-1603).

Conductor Timothy Perry joined the Binghamton University faculty in 1986

Tickets: $10 General Admission; $7. Faculty/staff/seniors/alumni; Free for students with ID and children 18-under. Available at the door, online at, or weekdays from 12-5:30 p.m. at the Anderson Center Box.


May 5
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Free – $10
Event Category:


Binghamton University Department of Music
(607) 777-2592


Osterhout Concert Theatre
Binghamton University
Vestal, NY 13850 United States
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(607) 777-ARTS