Ticket buyers may choose their own seats on a first-come-first-served basis for this general admission seating event.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH WORCESTER
111 Park Ave, Worcester, MA 01609
Music Worcester thanks the following sponsors of this presentation:
Directed by Chris Shepard, The Worcester Chorus is one of America’s oldest and longest-running choral ensembles.
Associate director and accompanist Mark Mummert directs The Worcester Chorus Women’s Ensemble as a featured performing group in this afternoon presentation at First Baptist Church Worcester at 111 Park Avenue.
PART 1 — THE WORCESTER CHORUS WOMEN’S ENSEMBLE
Directed by Mark Mummert
Anne Frank: A Living Voice
PART 2 — THE WORCESTER CHORUS
Directed by Chris Shepard
Now in his fourteenth year as conductor of the Worcester Chorus, Chris Shepard also serves as Artistic Director of the Connecticut Choral Artists (CONCORA), the state’s oldest professional choir, and the Masterwork Chorus of New Jersey. His choirs have collaborated with a number of orchestras, such as the Juilliard Orchestra, the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, in venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Radio City Music Hall in New York, as well as the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Chris has prepared choirs for major international conductors, including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simone Young, Carlos Miguel Prieto and William Boughton, as well as for Broadway legend Patti Lupone and Ray Davies of the Kinks. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2015, and made his conducting debut with the New Haven Symphony in 2016. Chris returned to America in 2008 after a dozen years in Sydney, Australia, where he founded the Sydneian Bach Choir and Orchestra.
He led their BACH 2010, a project to perform all of Bach’s choral cantatas. Under his direction, the ensemble performed over eighty cantatas, as well as the two Passions, B Minor Mass, and Christmas Oratorio; they completed the cantata cycle in 2013. In addition to the music of J.S. Bach, Chris has conducted many staples of the choral-orchestral repertoire, and he has commissioned and premiered a number of new choral works in both Australia and America. He also leads two of the longest-running annual Messiah performances in America, with the Worcester Chorus and at Carnegie Hall with the Masterwork Chorus.
A committed music educator, Chris has served on the faculty of the Taft School, Sydney Grammar School, Hotchkiss Summer Portals, and Holy Cross College. He founded the Litchfield County Children’s Choir in 1990, and has conducted numerous middle and high school festival choirs in New England, New York and Australia. He presented two documentaries with SBS-TV, an Australian national public television network, and has given several presentations at conferences for American Choral Directors Association and Australian National Kodàly Association. Chris has been a guest conductor at Emmanuel Church in Boston, a church renowned for its four-decade Bach cantata project, and he currently serves as Music Director of St John’s Episcopal Church in Stamford, Connecticut. He led the Dessoff Choir in New York City from 2010 to 2016.
A pianist and keyboard continuist, Chris holds degrees from the Hartt School, the Yale School of Music (where he studied choral conducting with Marguerite Brooks) and the University of Sydney. He researched the performance history of Bach’s B Minor Mass in New York City for his PhD in Musicology; his dissertation won the American Choral Directors Association’s 2012 Julius Herford Prize for outstanding doctoral thesis in choral music.
Mark Mummert (b. 1965) is Cantor at Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA), Worcester, MA where he leads the music in all worship services, conducts the Trinity Choir, Trinity Choristers, Trinity Junior Choristers, and is artistic director of the Music at Trinity fine arts series.
Mark is also the Assistant Director / Accompanist for The Worcester Chorus of Music Worcester, Inc., (Dr. Chris Shepard, Artistic Director) and the director of The Worcester Chorus Women’s Ensemble.
Prior to moving to Worcester, Mark was the 2015 Distinguished Visiting Cantor at the Lutheran Theological
Seminary at Gettysburg. Mark served as the Director of Worship at Houston’s Christ the King Lutheran Church
(2008-2015) and as Seminary Musician at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (1990-2008).
Mark is also a tenor chorister with CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), a professional choral ensemble based in Hartford, CT.
Mark is a composer of portions of the first musical setting of Holy Communion in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), the commended worship book of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is the editor of Psalm Settings for the Church Year (2008, Augsburg Fortress) and Music Sourcebook for Lent and Three Days (2010, Augsburg Fortress). His numerous compositions for Christian worship are available from Augsburg Fortress.
Mark’s recording Reformation Chorales Reformed (2017) includes organ works by J. S. Bach, Mendelssohn, Distler, and Clarke. The album is available for download and for streaming on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and Youtube. Numerous recordings are available at Mark’s Soundcloud site.
Mark was principal musician for the 2005 National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada,
the 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly and Worship Jubilee, and visiting scholar for Emory University’s Candler School of Theology’s “The Singing Church” Project in 2012.
As a singer, Mark has performed professionally with The Worcester Chorus, Choral Arts Philadelphia, the Bach Society Houston, and the Houston Chamber Choir. Mark’s voice can be heard on the Grammy nominated recordings, soft blink of amber light and Rothko Chapel.
Mark studied organ with Earl Ness and John Binsfeld and voice with Robert Grooters at Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music. He is currently pursuing vocal studies with Jane Shivick. Mark maintains an active private studio of voice, piano, and organ students.
The Worcester Chorus is truly a local gem.