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NVC choral groups debut “A Little Jazz Mass” by Bob Chilcott in Napa

Music Napa Valley Premieres Works for Chorus

A Little Jazz Mass and original Mark Osten composition premiere November 22, 2015


Napa, Calif. (November 4, 2015) – The three choral ensembles of Napa Valley College (Women's, Men's and College Chorales) will join together to perform a full-length concert on Sunday, November 22 at 3 p.m.  Showcasing traditional Irish tunes and the local premiere of A Little Jazz Mass by British composer Bob Chilcott, as well as the world premiere of "Sing A New Song" by Mark Osten, the joyful afternoon of music and voice is directed by Dr. Eve-Anne Wilkes, professor of music at Napa Valley College. The choral accompaniments will feature Mark Osten, piano and percussion, Sergio Cabada, double bass, and Brian Simpson, percussion.

The featured work on the program, A Little Jazz Mass, is one of Bob Chilcott's most celebrated and popular choral compositions and has been performed across the world since its debut in St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans in 2004.  According to BBC Music Magazine critic Terry Blain, "The composer perfectly fits the words of the Latin Mass to whippy, upbeat syncopations."  Mr. Chilcott is a former arranger for the BBC Radio Orchestra and has performed with artists such as George Shearing, Richard Rodney Bennett, Art Farmer and the WDR Big Band. He is currently conductor for the Royal College of Music chorus in London.

The Napa Valley College Men's Chorale will premiere a work by Mark Osten, "Sing a New Song," dedicated to the group.  Their set also includes a four-part men's work by Earlene Rentz, "Beauty Is Her Name," featuring a lovely melody with luscious harmonies.

The Women's Chorale will perform a six-part spiritual, "By an' By," and a powerful choral tribute to heritage, Andrea Ramsey's "Lineage," to poetry of Margaret Walker.  The music was commissioned by the Sister Singers Network for the 2014 National Women's Choral Festival.

Irish works on the program with a nod to the choir's summer 2016 tour to Ireland include the uproarious folk song, "The Rocky Road to Dublin" and "Shule Aroon," in an arrangement by Ruth Elaine Schram.

Choral ensembles at Napa Valley College are open to new singers.  The Chorale presents master works from the past and present with the goal of sharing the joy and power of choral music with audiences. The repertoire varies per semester, encompassing a wide variety of musical and cultural styles, and maintaining a high standard of exhilarating, enriching and poignant performances.  Those interested in joining the group in January should contact the director, Dr. Eve-Anne Wilkes at for more details.

Tickets for A Little Jazz Mass and other new choral works are $15 - $20.  To purchase or inquire about discounts, Flex passes, or group rates, please contact the Box Office at 707-256-7500 or visit