William Tortolano at the Casavant organ in the Saint MIchael's College chapel earlier this year. He'll play another older Casavant at a St. Albans church during a concert Jan. 28, 2018. (photo by Jerry Swope)
The Village Green in St. Albans is graced with several churches that all have important pipe organs. Dr. William Tortolano, former organist and music director at one of them, Immaculate Conception Church (St. Mary’s) for six years, will present a concert of diversified music on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 3 p.m., performing on the historic Casavant organ in St. Mary’s, which is Vermont’s oldest standing Catholic church.
This concert coincides with Tortolano’s 88th birthday (January 25th). The program includes Baroque compositions by Froberger, Buxtehude, Pachelbel, J.S. Bach; contemporary settings of American folk tunes; and Litanies by Alain.
Allegra Tortolano Havens, violinist, will join her father in a setting of Christ Lag In Todesbanden by Bender and Fantasie for solo violin by Telemann. A native of Underhill, Vermont, Allegra is violinist with the Virginia Symphony, leader of the Harbor String Quartet and faculty at the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts.
Four singers, all members of the Vermont Gregorian Chant Schola, will sing the Gregorian Magnificat in alternation with the organ setting, Fugues on The Magnificat by Telemann. The soloists are Patrick Mahoney, M.D.; John Schreindorfer from Fairfield, Jerry Proulx, Jake Barickman and Robert Hayward, M.D.
Tortolano, for 50 years a professor and organist at Saint Michael's College with longtime emeritus status in both roles, was honored by Pope Benedict XVI with the distinguished honor, the Papal Award, Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice for his worldwide expertise on Gregorian Chant. He is a graduate of Boston University, The New England Conservatory of Music and L’Université de Montreal. He also is founder and director of the Vermont Gregorian Chant Schola, based at Saint Michael’s, and was director of the College’s Glee Club and Chorale for decades.
The concert is free and open to the public. Free-will donations will be gratefully accepted.