A sense of renewal was in the air and on the program as the Island Community Chorus took the stage at the Old Whaling Church this weekend. The singers, director Peter R. Boak, pianist L. Garrett Brown, and drummer/guitarist Brian Weiland performed concerts on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon — two more events in a season-long celebration of the chorus’ twenty-fifth year.

More than 50 community members performed, welcoming spring and celebrating their first concerts sung without masks since December 2019. Without face coverings, the performers’ reverence for and delight in the music was projected clearly and with great vigor to the back wall of the church.

Director Peter Boak. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Mr. Boak opened Sunday afternoon’s performance by noting that the program was much the same as the chorus was preparing in spring 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic brought rehearsals to a close. The chorus resumed public performances in December 2021.

Composer Thomas LaVoy returned to the Island to hear, for the first time, his composition Toward the Dawn. Island Community Chorus has worked with Dr. LaVoy since premiering his cantata about Nancy Luce in 2019. Toward the Dawn was commissioned to celebrate the chorus’s 25th anniversary. It premiered at the December 2021 concerts but the onset of the Omicron variant prevented the composer from traveling to hear its debut.

Mr. LaVoy introduced Toward the Dawn by describing how the pandemic impacted his writing and shifted what he wanted to say musically. While working on the commission for the chorus, he was also writing for Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh. As part of that project, he contributed a letter to the church’s time capsule and he wrote of his recent compositions for Island Community Chorus.

Composer Thomas LaVoy addressed the audience and then joined the chorus. — Mark AlanLovewll

On Sunday afternoon, Mr. LaVoy joked that Vineyarders should warn their grandchildren that when the Edinburgh time capsule is opened in 100 years, large groups of Scottish people may arrive on the Island, made curious by his description of the Vineyard’s beauty and of Nancy Luce and her chickens.

The feeling of fellowship between Mr. Boak, the singers and Mr. LaVoy was evident as the Islanders warmly welcomed him back. The composer also sang the full concert as a chorus member.

The concert featured another new work: the month-old Prayer for Ukraine. The piano instrumental was composed by Michelle Gordon, director of music at Mattapoisett Congregational Church, just a week into the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Mr. Boak introduced the work at the Federated Church in Edgartown and it has been shared with congregations at other Island churches.

Jenny Friedman performs a solo. — Mark Alan Lovewell

The composition includes signatures associated with classical Eastern European music such as minor keys and contrasts between the low tones at one end of the keyboard and higher-pitched notes at the other. Mr. Brown played the work with ease, grace and solemnity. Prayer for Ukraine ends with a ringing note of uncertainty, which Mr. Boak acknowledged by asking the audience to mark not through applause but in contemplation about the war.

Of the eight songs performed during the hour-long concert, half celebrated the passage into spring. They ranged from a choral arrangement of The Beatles’ song Here Comes the Sun to a risque-tinged English madrigal (Now Is the Month of Maying) to the popular Lerner and Loewe song The Lusty Month of May from the musical Camelot.

The chorus’s next public concert will be a free performance at the Tabernacle on July 2.