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Holiday Music World Premiere

Categories: WSO General

Every December we look forward to performing our holiday concert.  This year we are so fortunate to present a world premiere of For Behold from Henceforth by Pittsburgh-based composer Nancy Galbraith, featuring Meghan DeWald, soprano and conducted by Maria Sensi Sellner. Join us for the concert and be the first to hear this new work!  

Longtime Friends, New Collaboration

“I’ve known Nancy for over 20 years, first as her composition student while I was in high school, then at Carnegie Mellon University,” said Maria Sensi Sellner. Her music draws from a myriad of influences from Bach to gamelan but is inherently American. In many ways, Nancy’s music is as much a part of my musical heritage as Verdi, Copland, or Bach.”

“For me, Home for the Holidays has always been about sharing our special traditions with each other, the parts of ourselves that define “home”— so I’m thrilled to bring Nancy’s work to Greensburg with the world premiere of For Behold from Henceforth.  The piece is based on a section of her Magnificat, and will feature soprano soloist Meghan DeWald,” said Maria.

About the Music

Matthew Galbraith gave background on the work. “Nancy was commissioned in 2002 to compose Magnificat for the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. The first movement of the work featured a hauntingly beautiful theme sung by a solo soprano. I have always raved about it, as have so many others. So when Maria asked Nancy for music for this concert she chose to rescore and expand upon the theme,” he said. “The full text from the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55), commonly referred to as “the Magnificat,” is considered by many to be the most poetic and eloquent passage in the New Testament. It has been celebrated throughout the ages by many great composers, including Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn,” said Matthew.

Hear this premiere work along with the classics including Sleigh RideWhite Christmas, Carol of the BellsSilent Night, Hallelujah Chorus, and many more!

Held December 21, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Home for the Holidays

  • Maria Sensi Sellner grew up in Westmoreland County and graduated from Valley High School. She then went on to Carnegie Mellon where she double majored in Mechanical Engineering and Music Composition. She is Artistic & General Director of Resonance Works Pittsburgh.
  • Nancy Galbraith was born in Pittsburgh and began playing piano at the age of four.  Six of her works premiered with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and she is the Chair of Composition at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. Her compositions are featured on numerous recordings, including nine anthologies.

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