Continuing our 25th Anniversary Season, we are very pleased to announce that our second spring concert of 2024 will be prepared and conducted by Dr. Daniel Hall. Dr. Hall is Director of Choirs at Wyoming Seminary, as well as a composer and arranger published by Walton Music and Santa Barbara Music Publishing, among others.

Dr. Hall has provided the following thoughts on his selected program.

I have always been intrigued by the possibility of creating a choral program based on the natural elements of fire, water, air, and earth. I am excited to see this concept come to fruition with the Choral Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Identifying music to fit this universal concept was simple enough, but making the final selections proved tricky at times. I began with a rather lengthy list, gradually trimming it down, and ultimately settling on the program you see today:

Often, the elements seem to abide in serenely balanced harmony, but at other times, they clash violently. Regardless of the consonance and dissonance apparent in the elemental world, a general sense of cyclical order often seems to emerge from the drama. Examples of this are seen in oceanic tides, planetary orbits, seasons, and the earth-building activity of volcanos. The prevalence of cyclical structure that I have continually observed in nature has led me to the creation and ordering of our current choral program.

Chiasmus is a literary technique whereby the structure of one phrase is inverted in the following phrase, thus allowing fundamental ideas from the original phrase to reemerge in the second phrase in inverted order. For example: “Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.” Chiasmus, when utilized effectively, generates a formal and structural stability based on symmetry. Here is another: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” And a fun one to finish up: “Never let a fool kiss you or a kiss fool you.”

The chiastic ordering of elements in our choral program can be seen below in the elements of earth, water, fire, and air. I am so excited to see what we uncover and learn as we explore the drama of the elements through singing!

Rehearsals begin on Monday evening, March 11th, 6:30-9:00 pm at Langcliffe Presbyterian Church in Avoca, halfway between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre and only minutes off I-81. No audition is required to participate, and singers will only pay modest tuition and purchase and retain their own scores.

Look to the tabs above to learn more about us, hear us sing, see the rehearsal/performance schedule, meet our professional section singers, accompanist, and conductor, and read about our Artistic Director search.

Thanks for visiting The Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania!

Alan Baker, artistic director