Final fall Music Mondays to study Benjamin Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’

The School of Music will host the final MUsic Mondays lecture of the fall series at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, at the Cellar Door, 905 3rd Ave., Huntington. The fall series, titled “Music and Ways of Telling,” investigates how the composers convey meaning to listeners.

The lecture, “Tapping into England’s Past: Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’” will explore composer Benjamin Britten’s use of texts from medieval England to create a work that would speak to wartime Britain.

Lead presenter Dr. Vicki Stroeher, professor of music history, said Britten retreated to the United States before the start of the war, but returned in 1942.

“Britten had to reconnect with his English audience, who were a bit skeptical of him,” Stroeher said. “He found a book of English carols in a bookstore in Nova Scotia while on his return journey across the Atlantic.”

Stroeher, who recently published a book on Britten, said he wrote the work on board a freighter ship as it crossed the submarine-infested ocean. “The work bears the marks of a world torn by war, but also offers hope for a peaceful future, as seen through the eyes of the past.”

Seating is limited. Participants are invited to arrive early to enjoy conversation and refreshments, and facilitators are requesting a $10 donation, payable at the door. Checks should be made payable to Marshall University. All proceeds will go to support the music program. Marshall students get in free with a Marshall ID.

The MUsic Mondays spring series will begin Jan. 23 with a joint lecture by Drs. Michael and Vicki Stroeher titled “This is Your Brain on Music.” The spring series will investigate the different ways music communicates with the individual.

For more information about MUsic Mondays, call the School of Music.


Photo: Benjamin Britten used texts from medieval England to create “A Ceremony of Carols.”