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Needham residents perform in “Coronation Mass”

Royal watchers and music lovers are eagerly awaiting the United Kingdom’s coronation of King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla on May 6 at Westminster Abbey.  According to BBC sources, the King, “an active supporter of classical music and the arts throughout his lifetime” has “personally chosen the music for the ceremony, which will feature 12 newly-commissioned pieces, including an anthem from ‘Cats’ composer Andrew Lloyd Webber… as well as pieces from classical composers William Byrd, George Handel, and Sir Edward Elgar.” (Nepilova, Hannah. BBC Music Magazine, Feb. 20, 2023

Here at home, the Dedham Choral Society pays homage to two of the greatest composers of the Classical Era at their concert on Friday, April 14 at 8:00 p.m. at Holy Name Parish, 1689 Centre St., West Roxbury. Mozart’s Coronation Mass K317 was composed for the Easter Day service in Salzburg in 1779 and was also performed at the Coronations of Francis I in Prague and probably Leopold II.  Haydn’s Te Deum was commissioned by and at the insistence of Empress Maria Theresa of the Hapsburg dynasty around 1799; it was performed at the home of Prince Esterhazy to celebrate Lord Nelson’s visit.

Both majestic pieces are fit for a royal occasion. Listeners will be immersed in the sonic splendor of the volunteer Dedham Choral Society’s chorus, accompanied by orchestra and professional soloists Katrina Holden (soprano), Caroline Olsen (mezzo soprano), Brendan Buckley (tenor), and Ulysses Thomas (bass). The concert also features Mozart’s sublime Ave verum corpus and a sonata for organ by Heinrich Christensen with string orchestra.  This is a concert not to be missed!

Sixty-eight choral members from 25 communities in greater Boston have been rehearsing in-person since January for this concert. Needham singers include Joanne Camann, Elizabeth Handler, and Marion Wasserman.  Under the baton of longtime director Jonathan Barnhart and rehearsal pianist Julia Scott Carey, DCS prides itself on being a “musical family,” not only by performing great choral works together, but also by fostering a supportive network of social relationships that value both long-term members of our inter-generational ensemble and new singers. Weekly rehearsals are held in Dedham’s historic Allin Congregational Church. To inquire about an audition for next season, please email 

Concert tickets may be purchased online at, from any DCS member or at the door. Adults-$35 / Seniors-$30 / Students-$20 / Children-$5 (ages 5-12).  For general information and for Covid-19 concert protocols (as of April 7), please consult our website:

Front, L-R: Joanne Camann, Elizabeth Handler, and Marion Wasserman. 

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