My arts picks start off this week with what sounds like a wonderful concept for a choral concert: getting to hear a number of different settings of the “Magnificat.”
The event: The Fresno Choral Artists kicks off its 29th season with “Magnificat: Song of Mary,” with concerts in Oakhurst and Fresno.
The draw: For lovers of choral music, the “Magnificat” is a familiar part of the canon. (“My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.”) As noted in the the Gospel of Luke, it is the joyous song that Mary sings to celebrate the news that she will be the mother of Jesus. The concert will offer a selection of works from the 15th to 20th centuries. The program will include Renaissance composers such as Hans Leo Hassler and a baroque setting by Francesco Durante, and contemporary works by Halsey Stevens, Charles Stanford, and Jackson Berkey.
The conductor: Greg A. Lapp is also the vocal music director at University High School. He arranged Claudio Monteverdi’s Renaissance setting of “Magnificat.” Catherine Walker is the accompanist.
Details: The ensemble performs 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, 39696 Highway 41, Oakhurst (a goodwill offering will be taken); and 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, University Presbyterian Church, 1776 E. Roberts Ave., Fresno ($15, $5 students). www.fresnochoralartists.org.
The event: The annual “Bachtober” concert at First Congregational Church is mixing things up with the addition of a full chamber orchestra.
The draw: John Morrice of Fresno City College will conduct the Bachtober Festival Orchestra in a concert that includes Antonio Vivaldi’s Double Concerto in A minor, and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. Also on the program is organist Scott Horton performing Bach’s Concerto in D minor and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor. The orchestra and organ together will perform George Frideric Handel’s Organ Concerto in F major.
Details: 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, First Congregational Church, 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd. Admission is free, though a goodwill offering will be taken to benefit the Casavant Pipe Organ Renovation Fund.
The draw: “Nari,” which had its U.S. premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, combines a performance by Gingger Shankar, animation by Indian contemporary artist Shilo Siv Suleman, documentary footage and family photos. Gingger is a double violinist, vocalist and composer. She is the daughter of Viji Shankar and granddaughter of Lakshmi Shankar, who helped bring Indian music to the West in the 1970s. The university’s art and design department is the sponsor.
Details: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, Peters Education Center Auditorium, Fresno State. Free. https://cineculture.csufresno.edu.