Beneath the Armor: Songs of War & Peace
November 11 is what used to be called Armistice Day, celebrating the last day of fighting of World War I. And while what is now known in America as Veterans’ Day is always a solemn occasion, it’s doubly so this year, as this November 11 marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of the Great War.
If you’re looking for an appropriate way to mark the occasion, here’s an idea: Varnum Memorial Armory, a historic armory and museum, and Collegium Ancora, Rhode Island’s professional chamber choir, are honoring the sacrifices of those who have fought and died for freedom’s sake with a concert that will give you pause to reflect. Beneath the Armor: Songs of War & Peace features familiar pieces by Mendelssohn, Bach, and others, along with the world premiere of Canadian composer Colin Eatock’s “Five Poems from the Great War."
The Varnum Memorial Armory is the perfect location for a concert of this variety. Built just after the war in 1913, it has an appropriate fortress-like feel, with architecture that has landed it in the National Register of Historic Places. Even better, the Armory is also home to a small museum with weaponry, uniforms and artifacts dating from the 18th century through the 20th century, including a functioning 1883 Gatling gun, and a collection of patriotic and propaganda posters that convinced WWI recruits (among others) to sign up. The military artifacts museum will be open for concert-goers free of charge before the concert, which will be held in the drill hall. Concert doors open at 3:30; performance is at 4.
Tickets are $20 general admission; $15 active military; $10 students. If you can’t make the Sunday performance at the Armory, Collegium Ancora performs the same program the previous day at Grace Episcopal Church in downtown Providence (300 Westminster Street, 6 pm). Order tickets for either show online through the Collegium Ancora website.