UNITY CONCERT: in the dark and light


April 30th • 7:30 pm

First United Methodist Church Charlotte

501 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 2820

The purpose of the annual Charlotte Master Chorale Unity Concert is to create bridges of understanding through shared experiences of music. This year, we will offer an opportunity for healing and hope for those who have lost loved ones to Alzheimer's disease and dementia—or who currently have family or friends who are dealing with memory loss— through the inspiring music of Rheinberger, Robert S. Cohen'sAlzheimer's Stories, Craig Hella Johnson's arrangement of Light of a Clear Blue Morning, and a new work by Charlotte Master Chorale Assistant Director and Pianist Philip Biedenbender that commemorates our 70th season.


Find those you love in the dark and light.
Help them through the days and nights.
Keep faith. They sense what they cannot show.
Love and music are the last things to go. Sing anything.

from Alzheimer's Stories. Music by Robert S. Cohen. Libretto by Herschel Garfein.

Part 1: The Evening

Come Ye, Disconsolate
Terre Johnson

Josef Rheinberger

When Memory Fades
Eric Nelson

Part 2: The Night

Alzheimer's Stories
Robert S. Cohen

Part 3: The Morning

You Are the New Day
John David

A Prophet Once Said
Philip Biedenbender
commissioned by Charlotte Master Chorale, on the occasion of our 70th Anniversary

Light of a Clear Blue Morning
Arr. Craig Hella Johnson

The Musicians

Charlotte Master Chorale
Philip Biedenbender, Piano
Peter deVries, Violin
Oksana McCarthy, Cello
Jessica Lindsey, Clarinet
Phil Brindise, Horn 1
Richard Goldfaden, Horn 2
Eric Millard, Trumpet 1
Craig Retzlaff, Trumpet 2
Justin Isenhour, Trombone
Nick Psihountas, Tuba
Carol Stumpf, Timpani
Doug Rowe, Percussion 1
David Markgraf, Percussion 2
Kenney Potter, conducting

Free Parking!

First United Methodist Church Charlotte is located in uptown Charlotte.

The church recommends using the parking garage on 9th Street between Tryon and Church Streets. It's free for church members and visitors. The gate arms are raised between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm, so you shouldn't need a ticket unless you think you might be leaving early. If you take a ticket and bring it inside, we can validate it for you. 

Once inside the garage, you'll see two elevators with signs for First United Methodist Church. Take the elevator on your left. It will take you directly to the sanctuary.

Critic's Remarks

“One of the greatest achievements a work of art can hope to reach is to bring us to our darkest places and show us a light. To illuminate our fears, ease our anxieties, and heal our pain. Whether or not you’ve struggled with this disease personally or as a caregiver, this is what makesAlzheimer’s Stories  a truly special experience.”

– Kody Wallace,Choral Journal  (Oct. 2018)

About Alzheimer's Stories

from Robert S. Cohen's web site:
In 2008, a member of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale who asked to remain anonymous made a donation to the chorale to help fund the commissioning of a musical work on the subject of Alzheimer’s disease to honor his parents, who had both died of it. In collaboration with 2012 Grammy Award®-winning opera librettist Herschel Garfein (Elmer Gantry), a blog was set up on the choir’s web site to record stories by chorus members and the local community describing experiences with relatives and friends who had Alzheimer’s disease with a selected group of those stories becoming the basis for the work: Alzheimer’s Stories  for soloists, chorus and large ensemble.


alzheimers association logo 400.png

Find Supprt

In North Carolina, more than 180,000 are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and over 358,000 family and friends are providing care. Serving 49 central and western counties in North Carolina, the Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter provides education and support to all those facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias throughout our community, including those living with the disease, caregivers, health care professionals and families.