Femina Melodia Plans Concert at B’nai Israel in Southbury

SOUTHBURY — Femina Melodia has planned a concert for 7 p.m. Sunday, November 21, presented by B’nai Israel, 444 Main St. North, Southbury. The women’s a capella group, founded by Jan Gregory, was set to celebrate its 20th anniversary in May 2020. Ms. Gregory reports the singers are back vaccinated and masked and ready to pick up where they were interrupted by Covid-19.

“Seeing my dear Femina Melodia friends for the first time this summer after such a long absence was a surreal experience,” Lisa Golymbieski of Southbury. “Then joining our voices in song was even more powerful. I believe that when our group sings a song, we don’t just sing, we are the song. What a delight to recapture that magic.”

Commenting on Covid-era rehearsals, Julie Clark of Woodbury noted, “Meeting on Jan and Bonnie’s deck was the perfect place to rehearse. Singing outdoors with hot cider during our breaks and two small dogs at our feet was so much fun.”

Femina Melodia concerts usually have a theme; this concert might simply be called, “Happy to Be Singing.” The program of audience favorites will begin with “A Jubilant Song” by Sally Albrecht, followed by “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King,” accompanied by percussion from the Femina Melodia Drummers.

Drums accompany the Cameroon processional song, “Praise, Praise, Praise the Lord,” as well. “Alleluia, Alleluia,” by Woodbury composer Amy Bernon features the intricate rhythms of her writing, also accented by drums.

More serious songs on the program include “Lo Yisah Goi,” a Hebrew folk song asking to put down swords and study war no more. “How Lovely Are the Messengers,” by Felix Mendelssohn will be accompanied by Chris Smith on piano, followed by a return to a capella with Mendelssohn’s “Lift Thine Eyes.”

Femina Melodia has fun with the barbershop style favorite, “Wait ‘Til the Sun Shines, Nellie,” and “Madrigal in C,” which is actually a song in praise of duct tape. The folk song, “Waltzing With Bears,” might introduce a special guest.

With a nod to the season, the program will include the mid-18th century, “To Drive the Cold Winter Away,” traditional Chanukkah tune “Maoz Tsur” and a wassail medley arranged by Jan Gregory.

The Femina Melodia Drummers will offer two percussion pieces, including one which includes the audience. 

In keeping with Femina Melodia custom, the audience will be invited to join in the closing song, which this year is the traditional Thanksgiving hymn, “Come, You Thankful People Come.”

The singers are vaccinated and will be masked for the concert. 

Those attending will be required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination as well.

There is an entrance fee. 

More information may be had by calling Jan Gregory at 203-206-0718.

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