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Chorale's 'Allegory'

March 19, 1992

The sound of voices interlaced with organ will fill the sanctuaries of two area churches this weekend as the Ventura County Master Chorale continues its 10th anniversary season with "Allegory and Acclamation."

Artistic director Burns Taft will lead the 75-member chorale through a program of selected compositions for chorus and pipe organ. Saturday's 8 p.m. performance will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Oxnard, Sunday's 4 p.m. concert will be in Thousand Oaks at the Ascension Lutheran Church. The churches house two of the area's finer instruments, according to chorale personnel director Lee Montemorra. Guest artist Larry Blackburn--an organ-piano faculty member at UC Santa Barbara--will play the organ for both concerts.

Program highlights:

* "Missa Brevis" by Zoltan Kodaly features the Eastern European harmonies of Hungary and expressions found in the Mass liturgies.

* "Rejoice in the Lamb" is a 16-minute cantata by Benjamin Britten and features four soloists from the MasterSingers Ensemble. The work is based on a text of 18th-Century poet Christopher Smart.

* The Book of Psalms of the Old Testament inspired two works on the program. Charles Ives' "Psalm 90" was written over a 30-year span and mixes his early anthems with some of his later, more daring harmonic experiments. Anton Bruckner's romantic "Psalm 150" will also be performed.

* Maestro Taft's final program composition will be the classic spiritual "Dry Bones," arranged by Fred Waring.

First Presbyterian Church is at 850 Ivywood Drive, Oxnard; Ascension Lutheran Church is at 1500 Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks.

Tickets are $15, $12 senior citizens and students. Groups of six or more, $10. Tickets are available at the door or can be ordered through the Office of Community Services at Ventura College. Call 654-6459. Also, tickets are available at the Ventura Bookstore and Henson's Music Stores in Oxnard and Camarillo.

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