Have you heard of Andrew Gilpin? A full house at The Georgetown Choral Society’s (GCS) Christmas concert on Dec. 10 was treated to Gilpin’s magnificent composition to the Latin Gloria, the ancient prayer of the mass of the Christian church.
Gilpin is a Wunderkind, a young man who was entirely home schooled and a completely self-taught musician. His Gloria is difficult and technically demanding in parts, with a solo part in the high soprano range, yet it has memorable or “catchy” melodic elements that had some audience members humming afterward.
The soloist was Lisa (Tass) Jackson, an accomplished internationally trained singer who is also a member of GCS. During the Gloria, she easily stepped in and out of the solo part, lending support to the soprano section while planted in the middle of the central tenor section. She was also nine months pregnant!
The Gloria filled the second half of the concert, which featured Shawn Grenke as accompanist, and began with a gorgeous arrangement of O Come, Emmanuel, moved through some fun and unusual carols, and included an audience sing-along ruthlessly conducted by the controlling and entertaining GCS tenor Jack Morrison. The first half ended with a big musical flourish that featured a solo by GCS soprano Maria Stevens.
But it is Andrew Gilpin who crowned the evening. He and his parents attended the concert and he said this was the first time he had heard his work performed without him playing it, and he thanked conductor Dale Wood for that.
World-class musical talent is on offer in Georgetown near the Niagara Escarpment! Have you heard or performed Gilpin’s work?