Capella Festiva & Bruderhof choir to perform in stunning Esopus chapel

(Photo by Julie O'Connor)

(Photo by Julie O’Connor)

In a joint venture between the acclaimed Dutchess County chamber choir Capella Festiva and the Mount Bruderhof Community, Dr. Christine Howlett conducts a choir comprising members Capella Festiva and the Bruderhof choir in a performance of Schubert’s famous Mass No. 2 in G Major (D. 167), as well as two cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, a choral work of Mendelssohn and a contemporary work by Bruderhof member Marlys Swinger, composed expressly for this concert.

The concert takes place on Saturday, October 29 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the stunning chapel at the Mount Academy in Esopus (the former Mount St. Alphonsus site), where, since 2012, the Bruderhof Community has operated its Mount Academy secondary school, which all American Bruderhof high school-age students must attend.

The Canadian soprano and conductor Dr. Christine Howlett is the director of choral activities at Vassar College, where she conducts the Vassar College Women’s Chorus and Vassar College Choir. She is also the artistic director of Cappella Festiva. Her choruses have sung at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and have toured in Italy, Turkey, Germany, Spain, England, France and the USA.


In addition to next year’s 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the program for this concert includes the Bach cantata “Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange,” BWV 155, and two choral settings of poems written by Martin Luther: Felix Mendelssohn’s Verleih’ uns Frieden gnädiglich, and Das wir uns von Herzen, by the 88-year-old composer and pianist Marlys Swinger, a Bruderhof resident since 1959. A graduate of Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music, Swinger has prepared an expanded version of her work specifically for this concert.

Ticket prices for this unique concert range from $12 to $20 and are available at The Mount Community Chapel is located at 1001 Broadway in Esopus.