First Monday at Jordan Hall

This year, we bring Jordan Hall to you, with streaming editions of First Mondays at Jordan Hall—as brilliant with music as ever, performed by some of the world’s best chamber musicians.

Now in its 36th season, First Mondays are fresh and full of imaginative pairings of well-loved classics and new work, performed in one of the finest places on the planet to hear music of this caliber: NEC’s own Jordan Hall.

Tonight's program is a sampler of the diverse performances from a remarkable year: 2020-2021.


  1. Giovanni Gabrieli (arr. T. Higgins) | Sonata Pian e Forte

    Brass Personnel

    Choir A
    Charles Jones

    French horn
    Tess Reagan
    Helen Wargelin

    Bass Trombone
    Luke Sieve

    Choir B
    French horn
    Jenna Stokes

    Matthew Vezey
    Elias Canales


    James Curto

  2. Spiritual (arr. Stephen L. Hayes) | Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray


    Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray

    Couldn’t hear nobody pray, Lord, I couldn’t hear nobody pray,

    O well I was way down yonder by myself and I couldn’t hear nobody pray,
    O Lord, I couldn’t hear nobody pray.

    Dark was the night and cold the ground on which my Lord was laid.
    Great drops of blood like sweat rolled down, in agony he prayed.
    O Lord, I couldn’t hear nobody pray…

    Father remove this bitter cup, if such thy sacred will.
    If not content to drink it up, thy pleasure I fulfill.
    O Lord, I couldn’t hear nobody pray…

    • NEC Chamber Singers
  3. Jaakko Mäntyjärvi | El Hambo

    From the composer:

    El Hambo is the second installment in a rather loosely defined series that I have decided to call Justly Forgotten Peoples.  (The first installment was, of course, Pseudo-Yoik.)  The hambo is a Swedish folk dance in 3/4 time.  This augmented hambo in 5/4 time is something of a tribute to those folk musicians whose enthusiasm much exceeds their sense of rhythm, and the increasingly desperate punctuations should be interpreted as an attempt to keep the performance in some sort of metrical shape.  The somewhat arrogant title is intended to suggest (rather like la Valse) an apotheosis of the genre, The Mother of All Hambos if you like, or perhaps even The Hambo to End All Hambos.  It also embraces the pan-European ideal; for those who find themselves distressed by the fact that the piece does not in fact contain anything remotely identifiable as Spanish, it may be of some interest to note that elhambo means ‘electric hambo’ in Swedish and could also be an alternate transliteration of the Welsh y llam bodd (‘the jump of joy’).  Further cognates are welcome.
          Sources of inspiration for this piece include, surprisingly, genuine Norwegian choral folk song arrangements and of course the Swedish Chef in The Muppets Show.  The text is, or is supposed to be, completely meaningless, as those who are familiar with Pseudo-Yoik will already have suspected.  The first three chords of the piece are violin tunings actually used in Norwegian folk music.                          

    - Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

    NEC Chamber Singers

    Tyler Bouque
    Ashley Chen

    Edward Ferran
    Molly Flynn
    Samantha Fox
    Killian Grider
    Maxwell Herman
    Jonathan Lawlor
    Corinne Luebke-Brown
    Colin Miller

    Joseph Nizich
    Nicholas Ottersberg
    Cassandra Pinataro

    Daniel Rosenberg
    Jennie Segal
    Anneke Stern
    Chloe Thum

    Madeleine Wiegers
    Kerui Yang


    The NEC Chamber Singers is an auditioned ensemble open to all majors at NEC, composed of 17-19 choristers for the 2020-21 performance season. The ensemble performs works from all style periods, with a particular emphasis on 19th–21st century a cappella repertoire. Chamber Singers rehearse three times a week and strive to create highly artistic choral music-making in an intimate setting, typically in the round. Each Chamber Singer is a musician seeking to understand the principles and nuance of superior choral artistry, that they may be prepared for professional opportunities and expectations outside of the Conservatory. A Chamber Singer is expected to diligently prepare their music outside of scheduled rehearsals which makes the brief time spent together musically invaluable. The ensemble typically performs eight to ten times each academic year: on campus in the Conservatory’s famed Jordan Hall, at off campus venues in and around greater Boston, as well as on tour and in schools for community outreach programs.

    • NEC Chamber Singers
  4. Vernon Duke/E.Y. "Yip" Harburg (arr. Jimmy Carroll | April in Paris

    • NEC Jazz Orchestra
  5. Jaki Byard | “X” Stream (Mrs. Parker of K. C.)

    NEC Jazz Orchestra

    Aaron Kaufman-Levine, alto saxophone, clarinet
    Ben Mizach, alto saxophone, clarinet

    Ian Buss, alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet
    Chris Ferrari, alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet
    Joey Rosin, alto and baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet

    Miles Keingstein
    Michael Brehm
    Zoe Murphy
    Simone Trovato

    Joseph Dies
    Dylan Rogan
    Luke Sieve

    George Behrakis, piano
    Pritesh Walia, guitar
    Chris Worden, double bass
    James Nadien, drums

    Kip Zimmerman, oboe, English horn          
    Helen Wargelin, French horn
    Leonard Fu, Caroline Jesalva, Lucy Little, Hannah Price, violin
    Julian Seney, viola         
    Giulia Haible, cello
    Hannah Cope Johnson, harp

    • NEC Jazz Orchestra
  6. Robert Schumann | Piano Quartet in E-flat major, op. 47

    Sostenuto assai - Allegro ma non troppo
    Scherzo: Molto vivace - Trio I - Trio II
    Andante cantabile
    Finale: Vivace


    Pei-Shan Lee, piano
    Donald Weilerstein, violin
    Roger Tapping, viola
    Natasha Brofsky, cello