Dr. Gerald Weale took the podium in May for his 50th concert with the The Newburyport Choral Society (NCS) marking his 25th Anniversary as music director. He was enthusiastic about the opportunity to again conduct the Brahms Requiem as the Anniversary Concert.
It’s long been a favorite of mine said Dr. Weale. It’s wonderful music, which carries a magnificent message. The whole approach to life and death, which Brahms has illustrated with selected Bible verses is, for me, a wonderful way to contemplate what we – all of us- are doing here on earth. It moves me to think that Brahms was thinking this way and feeling this kind of music 150 years ago.”
Dr. Weale’s vision for NCS has far surpassed what community choruses are usually able to accomplish, and under his leadership NCS has performed the greatest of the choral masterpieces, commissioned new choral works, and went on three European tours. Betty Gillette, a charter member of NCS 78 years ago, describes Dr. Weale as “the best conductor I’ve ever known and I’ve sung with a lot of them. He opened up a new era for NCS and has given us 25 years of superb music making. He is a master teacher and we have profited from his vast knowledge of music from all ages. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to sing under his direction”
Dr. Weale cites some of the best moments of his years with NCS as “the great repertoire we were able to perform such as the complete Bach B Minor Mass, the Brahms Requiem and the Poulenc Gloria among others, but particularly the Verdi Requiem since most choruses never get the opportunity or have the finances to present that work. And we did a spectacular job.”
NCS singers have come to know “Jerry” as a gifted storyteller who brings composers, their works, and their histories to life, and who radiates an enthusiasm for musical excellence that is captivating. It has inspired the Choral Society to achieve professional level performances of choral masterpieces from the Renaissance to the 20th century.
In a quarter century of conducting the Newburyport Choral Society, I have been unusually blessed with the enthusiasm and commitment of the members. This is a group of people who understand the power and exhilaration of making great music. It has been a great pleasure and a personal gift to direct this artistic force for good, and I am forever grateful for having the opportunity to conduct the great masterworks in Newburyport.
When Dr. Weale walks down the aisle of Belleville Church, audience members know they are in for a resounding musical experience. So please join us in celebrating Dr. Weale’s 25th Anniversary at the Spring Concert featuring the Brahms Requiem and Song of Destiny and come wish him Happy Anniversary at the post concert reception.
Mary Ann Lachat
NCS Member 1987–2012