POWELL, Wyo. - Billings soprano Carolyn Coefield joins the Northwest Civic Orchestra and Northwest College Choir in a performance of John Rutter’s “Magnificat” at a 7:30 p.m. concert Saturday, Dec. 10, in the Nelson Performing Arts Center Auditorium.
Under the direction of Tim Schoessler, the evening begins with a processional setting of the traditional 14th century Latin hymn “Personent Hodie” written by longtime University of North Carolina choral director Lara Hoggard.
The highlight of the concert is the “Magnificat,” a seven-movement composition first performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1990.
Though not usually known as a Christmastide piece, it has a festive spirit and strong associations with the Virgin Mary. Rutter called the Magnificat passage from St. Luke a “poetic outpouring of praise, joy and trust in God, ascribed by Luke to the Virgin Mary on learning that she was to give birth to the Christ.”
Montana native and guest soloist for the “Magnificat” is soprano Carolyn Coefield of Billings. In addition to performances with Rimrock Opera, Portland Opera Works, the Helena Symphony, and other venues, she’s performed at the International Music Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, and throughout Greece.
Most recently, she sang the role of Micaela in the 2009 Rimrock Opera production of “Carmen” and the title role in the 2010 production of “The Merry Widow.” She received a bachelor’s degree in music from Rocky Mountain College, where she’s currently an adjunct vocal instructor, and a master’s in vocal performance at Portland State University.
Rutter is widely recognized as the leading choral composer of his generation and a distinguished editor and arranger of choral music, as well as a renowned conductor. Born in London in 1945, he wrote his first published compositions and conducted his first recording while still a student at Clare College in Cambridge, England.
General admission to the Dec. 10 concert is $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, and free to students with ID.