The official site of the Maple City Chamber Orchestra


Chorale and Chamber

Orchestra to Perform

“Old and New” Christmas


The Goshen Community Chorale will join the Maple City Chamber Orchestra in the free concert, “Sounds of Christmas: Old and New,” Saturday, December 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Sauder Concert Hall at Goshen College.

Two works by Bach are the major classical pieces on the program.  His “Cantata 191,” composed for Christmas Day 1745 in Leipsig, consists of three movements.  The first and third are extended choruses enhanced by timpani and trumpets.  The middle movement is a tender duet for tenor and soprano, with flute obligatto.  The soloists are Chelsea Esther Thompson, soprano, and Joshua James Bungart, tenor.  Both are natives of southwestern Michigan, now students in the music department at Goshen College.  Flautist is Kathy Blosser, a member of the orchestra.  The second Bach piece is “Kneel and Worship,” from Part IV, for Epiphany, in Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio.”

The orchestra and chorus for Bach will be conducted by William Mateer, the new director of the chorale, who succeeds Lee Dengler.  Mateer moved to Goshen from Wooster, Ohio, where he was a mental health professional and directed a number of choirs.  He is founder of the Baroque ensemble, “Musica Felice,” in which he plays the recorder.

Brian Mast, orchestra conductor, will direct the choir and orchestra in the musical suite, “Many Moods of Christmas,” a medley arranged by Robert Shaw and Robert Russell Bennett.  The orchestra will also play Vaughn Williams’ “Greensleeves” and two favorites by Leroy Anderson, “Sleigh Ride” and the “A Christmas Festival.”

The choir’s additional numbers include five international carols, as well as two different settings of the ancient text for morning prayers, “O Magnum Mysterium,” by Thomas Luis de Victoria (1549-1611) and contemporary American composer Morton Lauridsen.

A free-will offering will be taken.  The concert is also supported by the Indiana Arts Commission and patrons of both groups.

The Community Chorale, which gives two concerts a year, has its origins in the Goshen Community Chorus founded in 1965 by the late Dwight Weldy.  The Maple City Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1997 by Michael Ruhling, gives four concerts each year.  More information can be found on the organizations’ websites.

Paddington Bear in

Orchestra’s Family


The Maple City Chamber Orchestra will play its annual concert for families and children of all ages Sunday, October 12, at 3 p.m. in Sauder Concert Hall at Goshen College.  The program consists of three narrated pieces written especially to help children understand the instruments, the conductor and “The Thrill of the Orchestra,” the concert’s theme. The highlight will be “Paddington Bear’s First Concert,” by contemporary British composer Herbert Chappell.  He was initially asked by Michael Bond, the Paddington author, to compose music for a Paddington cartoon and stage musical.  When “Paddington Bear’s First Concert” premiered in 1986 at the Barbican in London, it was so popular that the Barbican became known as the “Bearbican,” and children now bring teddy bears to their concerts. Two pieces are by Russell Peck (1945-2009), a composer of symphonic music influenced by soul music from his native Detroit.  His “The Thrill of the Orchestra,” one of his most popular works, introduces the sections and individual instruments of the orchestra. Peck’s “Playing with Style” (1991) is really a “concerto for conductor,” since it explains and demonstrates how Brian Mast, conductor, helps create dynamics and tempo changes during a performance.  The finale of the piece features many shifts in mood and style. The narrator for all three selections will be Anna Yoder Schlabach, who was active in both theater and orchestra when she was a student at Goshen High School and Goshen College.  Her narrative skill has been honed by telling and reading stories to her twins, Sophie and Caleb. The Maple City Chamber Orchestra, which presents four free concerts each year, was founded in 1991 by Goshen native Michael Ruhling.  Brian Mast has been conductor and music director since 2002.  More information can be found on the orchestra’s website.

Beethoven and Mozart in

Spring Concert

May 10, 2014

Major works by Beethoven and Mozart will fill the spring concert of the Maple City Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Sauder Hall at Goshen College.  This free program will feature Luke Norell as soloist and Brian Mast as conductor. Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 1 in C Major” was first performed in Vienna in 1800.  It illustrates Beethoven’s indebtedness to his teacher Joseph Haydn and to Mozart, but its use of more wind instruments anticipates the complex symphonies for larger ensembles that characterize Beethoven’s later work. This is the first Beethoven symphony that the orchestra has included in its repertoire. Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 21 in C. Major” was first performed in 1785.  Its second movement, “Andante,” has become well known due to its use as thematic music for the Swedish film “Elvira Madigan” in 1967. Dr. Daniel Rieppel Luke Norell, the soloist, is the lead faculty member for piano in the Goshen Community School of the Arts.  A native of Minnesota, Luke is completing a doctorate at Indiana University.  He has earned first place awards at three different piano competitions. He was harpsichord soloist with the Maple City Chamber Orchestra in its March concert, “Baroque Wind and Strings,” playing Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.”