Free concert to include acclaimed composer

An email that almost landed Unionville High’s vocal music director on the floor has led to a special performance on Thursday, May 7.

Chamber Choir

Vocal Music Director Jason Throne is shown with the Unionville High School Choir during a December performance of Ola Gjeilo's "Sanctus: London."

Jason Throne explained in a press release that in December, the Unionville High School (UHS) Winter Choir Concert featured a riveting piece, “Sanctus: London” by Grammy Award-winning choral composer Ola Gjeilo. Throne said “a reverent silence fell over the crowd as the magnificent student chorale ensemble performed the work with brilliance and emotion.”

Throne said he was so moved by the performance that he decided to send Gjeilo a video recording. Much to Throne’s surprise, Gjeilo responded to his email. Not only did Gjeilo praise the UHS students’ skill level and composure, but he also offered to join the group onstage at its upcoming spring concert, which will also feature many of his works.

“I almost fell out of my chair when Gjeilo offered to attend our spring performance,” Throne said in the release. “He will rehearse with the students and accompany them onstage playing piano. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students to work with a composer of his caliber.”

The free concert will be held Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m., at Unionville High School, 750 Unionville Rd., Kennett Square. To view the winter performance of “Sanctus: London,” go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp2DIA5MZ0c.

Gjeilo, who was born in Norway in 1978, moved to the U.S. in 2001 to begin his composition studies at the Julliard School in New York City. His concert works are performed all over the world and his debut recording as a pianist-composer, the lyrical crossover album, “Stone Rose,” was followed by its 2012 sequel, “Piano Improvisations.”

Many of Gjeilo’s choral works are featured on Phoenix Chorale’s Grammy Award-winning bestselling “Northern Lights” album, which is devoted entirely to his music for choir. A full-time concert music composer, Gjeilo, who lives in New York City, is also very interested in film, and his music often draws inspiration from movies and cinematic music. More information is available on his website: https://www.olagjeilo.com.

 

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