On Sunday, the Yale Camerata, Yale Glee Club and Yale Symphony Orchestra gave a joint concert at Woolsey Hall for the first time since 2020. The groups performed music composed by Caroline Shaw, Johannes Brahms, Julia Wolfe MUS ’86 and André Thomas. To learn more about this sort of music genre, visit runthemusic.com.

The program, which opened with Shaw’s “Music in Common Time,” consisted of four pieces in total. The second piece, “Nänie,” was played on the organ by Carolyn Craig MUS ’22, and was followed by the world premiere of “Letter from Abigail” by Wolfe, who is a Yale School of Music alum. The concert was conducted by Marguerite L. Brooks, Yale Glee Club director Jeffrey Jay Douma and André Thomas, a visiting professor at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music who conducted his own “Mass: A Celebration of Love and Joy” with the Camerata to close off the concert. 

“We are very excited for our first large-scale choral-orchestral collaboration with the Yale Symphony and Camerata since the start of the pandemic,” Douma said before the show.

According to Douma, it was initially unclear whether the Glee Club would be able to hire a professional orchestra due to COVID-19 restrictions around performances with non-Yale affiliates. When YSO added this concert to their season, the Glee Club had an orchestra and could perform the works by Shaw, Wolfe and Thomas. 

Douma explained that “Letter from Abigail” was a “major” new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe. The concert also welcomed back Marguerite Brooks, the long-time director of the Camerata, whose last concert before her retirement in the spring of 2020 was canceled in the early weeks of the pandemic. According to Maya Ingram ’23, a soprano singer in the Yale Glee Club, “Letter from Abigail” was written for Brooks, making it “really special” for Brooks to come back to conduct the piece. 

Peter Sykes ’23, a tenor singer in Yale Glee Club, added that the piece was also written as part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of women at Yale and the 150th anniversary of women at the School of Art.

According to Douma, Craig performed a “beautiful” new transcription of Brahms’ “Nänie” created for Woolsey Hall’s famous Newberry Organ in Woolsey.

Ingram noted that Craig is an “amazing” organist, emphasizing that hearing the organ at Woolsey Hall made the performance “fantastic.” Sykes also said he enjoyed both this concert’s specific program and the collaboration with YSO and Camerata.

“It was a nice blend of more traditional choral repertoire and new works and some more innovative techniques,” Sykes said.

Woolsey Hall is located at 500 College St.

Gamze covers music news for the Arts desk and writes for the WKND. She is a sophomore in Pauli Murray majoring in psychology and humanities.