Music Intersects Life Sciences in Contemporary Chamber Ensembles Concert

2023 Spring Concert marquis
2023 Spring Concert marquis

Local composers and organizers collaborate to produce performance at Somerville’s new Boynton Yards innovation hub – Wood Harbor Music, in association with SA6 Productions, presents “Music Meets Life Sciences – a Spring Concert,” on Saturday, April 22, 4 pm, Boynton Yards performance hall, 101 South Street, Somerville.  The concert features works for voice, harp, woodwinds, and strings, performed by small ensembles, including Wood Harbor Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Elijah Langille, The Pandora Consort, and The Random Consort.

In concept, “Music Meets Life Sciences” was born as a collaboration of its producers and the concert venue, Boynton Yards, Somerville’s new innovation hub, intersecting life science, culture and community, embedded in the world’s preeminent biotech supercluster. Boynton’s state-of-the-art performance space at 101 South Street spans a large section of its main floor community center, the perfect juncture for a concert.

Following Burckardt’s very successful debut performance of “Mount Auburn, Requiem in d minor” last fall, the accomplished musician and the premiere’s conductor Elijah Langille immediately began planning their next collaboration.  “Elijah suggested we consider producing a fall festival annually,” says Burckardt, “which inspired me to think further, contemplating a spring concert that featured smaller ensembles, and the idea took off.”  The current concert program was first inspired by Burckardt’s newest work – a piece for harp, winds, and strings, composed while recording the Requiem and preparing for its premiere.  Once solidified, the concert plans evolved into the precursor to forming a future nonprofit, aspiring to fund similar performances ahead.

The “Music Meets Life Sciences” program offers an eclectic “collision” of musical genres, spanning early music, Jazz, folk, and sacred works by contemporary composers, mostly from underrepresented communities in the performance arena, including women, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ populations.  Works by composers Hildegard von Bingen, Rachel Burckardt, Mary Casiello, Javier Marquez, and Florence Price are featured.  Each piece is performed by a small ensemble, and three of the featured composers whose works will be performed will be present at the performance.

“Producing this concert culminates my 10-year collaboration with DLJ, the developer of the Boynton Yards life science campus, now my work neighborhood.  I connected with DLJ’s Managing Director John Fenton through my civil engineering ‘day job,’ assisting in early assessments of the property.  John noted he was ‘blown away’ by the premiere of my Requiem last fall, which prompted our collaboration to expand to include my musical interests and this spring concert,” shares Rachel Burckardt, concert organizer, composer and performing artist.  Each of the producers are committedly like-minded in Boynton Yards’ interest in serving as a fruitful intersection where science and culture merge. 

Wood Harbor Chamber Ensemble, a facet of Wood Harbor Orchestra, makes its second public performance at this concert, under the direction of Elijah Langille, conductor. The ensemble includes professional musicians along with students from local music schools. Wood Harbor Orchestra is dedicated to the performance of works by local composers, focused on underrepresented groups in classical music, including women, people of color, and those in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Tickets to “Music Meets Life Sciences” are $22 adults, $15 seniors and students, $50 for preferred seating, and $17 early purchase through March 31, available on EventBrite at, or at the door, limited to capacity.  $10 flat rate parking is available in the garage under 101 South Street, from the Earle Street garage entrance. The building if fully accessible.  Public transit access is available via a short walk from the Union Square stop on the Green Line.

For more information about Rachel Burckardt, visit  For more information about Boynton Yards, visit

Featured Composers (in attendance)

Javier Márquez is a Lynn, Massachusetts-based composer, Music Director/Worship Leader at the First Baptist Church of Salem and   Music Director at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Originally from the Dominican Republic and a self-taught musician, Javier is a graduate of Salem State University and UMass (Amherst), with degrees in music and composition. Javier loves to share his gift of music with others in numerous ways, notably and most recently with the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a prolific composer of instrumental and vocal music.  Currently, Javier lives in Lynn and works as the Program Director at North Shore Adult Day Health Center.  

Rachel Burckardt, composer,
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Mary Casiello is a creative, quirky, and cathartic singer/songwriter with extensive performance and studio experience.  A graduate of Berklee College of Music, her style is best described as genre-bending, equally at home singing pop or rock or contemporary musical theatre.  Her music has received favorable comparison to that of Sara Bareilles, Billy Joel, Ben Folds, and Carole King. Currently she performs and records as co-lead vocalist and keyboardist with the energetic rock band Three At Home.  Mary also has been the musical director for locally-produced musicals as well and has extensive pit orchestra experience. 

Rachel Burckardt is a prolific composer whose works explore sacred and liturgical music, jazz, electronic music and orchestral works. She has served as a church musician for more than 45 years and currently is a member of the Saint Cecilia Parish music ministry and the American Guild of Organists.  A longtime instrumentalist, chorister, and composer, she also previously served as co-director of the parish’s contemporary ensemble. As a performing artist, she sings with the Boston Archdiocesan Festival Choir. Burckardt has released seven albums featuring her original compositions and improvisations. The most recent is the studio recording of “Mount Auburn: a Requiem in d minor”, which premiered last October in Boston.  

About Elijah Langille, conductor

Elijah Langille, conductor,
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Elijah Langille (He/Him) is the Program Director and Chief Conductor of South Shore Conservatory (SSC) Youth Orchestras. He has sung with Tanglewood Festival Chorus, performing at venues including Boston’s Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Koussevitzky Music Shed, featuring prominent conductors such as Andris Nelsons and Keith Lockhart. Langille has been invited, in multiple opportunities, to conduct the Moravian Philharmonic in the Czech Republic, working with Russian conductor Alim Shakh. He continues to travel around the world sharpening his musicianship.

As the organist of Christ Church Parish, Plymouth, he oversees instrumental activities consistently bringing musicians together of different styles and backgrounds to create unique experiences. Langille also guest conducts throughout New England, conducting the Parkway Concert Orchestra in 2018, Junior Southeastern Massachusetts School Bandmasters Association (SEMSBA) Orchestra in 2017, and the Senior SEMSBA Orchestra in 2016.

Continuing his conducting education, Langille studies with Michael Ellis Ingram, the Korrepetitor, and Kapellmeister of the Mecklenburg State Theater in Schwerin, Germany. He is a graduate of Gordon College and Boston University, and currently serves as the orchestra director at Barnstable High School. 

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