'The Music of Downton Abbey' at Oratorio Society of Minnesota eases fans' withdrawals from season 4 ending

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Matthew Mehaffey

Artistic Director



Oratorio Society of Minnesota eases the withdrawal suffered by Downton Abbey viewers by presenting “The Music of Downton Abbey” one week after the end of Season 4

Minneapolis, January 16, 2014 – Downton Abbey has some of the most dedicated fans in television, and each spring they go into withdrawal when the season ends.  To help curb the pain, the Oratorio Society of Minnesota proudly announces the second concert of its 34th season, “The Music of Downton Abbey,” at St. Mark’s Cathedral on Saturday, March 8th.

The beautiful acoustics of St. Mark’s in Minneapolis will serve as the backdrop for this concert of English music inspired by the popular PBS television drama, Downton Abbey.  The combined choral and orchestral forces of over 100 musicians will guide the audience through a musical tour of post-Edwardian England by pairing musical selections with memorable events from the story line of the Downton Abbey series. 

In addition to the performance of several well-known gems of this era, like Parry’s “I Was Glad,” the concert will feature one world premiere and two U.S. premieres of recently rediscovered works from this time period.  Sections of the concert will be linked by instrumental music from Downton Abbey’s Emmy-winning composer John Lunn.  The audience will even have a chance to get in on the action when they are invited to sing three of the most iconic British hymns:  Parry’s “Jerusalem,” Holst’s “I Vow to Thee my Country,” and Thomas Arne’s “Rule, Britannia!”

Twin Cities actress Marsha Smith, who will be playing the role of a fictional visitor to Downton Abbey, will dramatically convey the history of each piece to the audience. 

In addition to Ms. Smith, this concert will feature the 80-voice Oratorio Society Chorus, a professional chamber orchestra, soprano Maria Jette, baritone Philip Zawisza, and organist Helen Jensen. The concert will be conducted by Oratorio Society of Minnesota Artistic Director Matthew Mehaffey.

This project is funded, in part, by appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund, and its arts and cultural heritage fund that was created by a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.


The Oratorio Society of Minnesota is an auditioned 80-voice choral ensemble based in the Twin Cities. Celebrating its 34th year, OSM challenges and delights its audiences through dynamic and diverse choral music performed with skill and passion. Society members are of all ages and from all walks of life and have considerable choral singing experience. Its civic engagement and educational programs foster lifelong choral singing. More information at oratorio.org.