Assabet Valley Mastersingers to perform “Celebrate Peace”

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The Assabet Valley Mastersingers will kickoff their concert series on Oct. 30 at St. John's High School.
A file photo shows the Assabet Valley Mastersingers performing. (Photo/submitted)

SHREWSBURY – The Assabet Valley Mastersingers will present “Celebrate Peace” at St. John’s High School at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20.

The program features three settings of “Dona Nobis Pacem,” which means “give us peace.”

Founder and Artistic Director Robert P. Eaton will conduct soloists soprano Mary Johnston Letellier and baritone Philip Lima as well as the orchestra and the ensemble.

The mastersingers will perform “Dona Nobis Pacem” by Vaughan Williams, a serene setting by Latvian composer Peteris Vasks who incorporated elements of Latvian folk music and a contemporary setting by Keane Southard.

Southard is from Southborough and a graduate of Algonquin Regional High School. Southard said the primary themes of his piece have evolved over the years.

The emotional content of Vasks’ setting is reflected in his use of color and texture, which holds the audience’s attention on the single phrase, “Dona Nobis Pacem,” for 12 minutes.

Williams’ setting of “Dona Nobis Pacem” proclaims the harshness and cruelty of war, the intense and somber burial of a father and son, the anguished cry for peace and a final message of goodwill and peace toward men.

Tickets may be purchased from www.AVMsingers.org or at the venue the afternoon of the concert.

The price is $25 and $20 for seniors and students.