Wed, Apr 18 2018
LeTourneau Singers and the Longview Civic Chorus will perform together to present the LeTourneau University Spring Masterworks Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 906 Padon St. in Longview. The concert is free and open to the public.
The combined chorus will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra as they perform the Benedicite of Ralph Vaughan Williams and the new Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest. Alyssa Marshall will be the soprano soloist for both works.
Also on the program will be the outstanding incoming LeTourneau University student pianist Elijah Dmitrievsky performing the Chopin Scherzo No. 2 in Bb Minor. Dr. Jim Taylor, Director of Fine Arts at LeTourneau University, will conduct the concert.
Vaughan Williams’ Benedicite was composed in 1929 and given its first performance at the Leith Hill Festival, Dorking, in 1930. It is a setting of two texts—the first is the “Song of the Three Holy Children” and the second a poem, “Hark My Soul,” by John Austin (1613-1669). Both texts speak of the universal praise of God by every conceivable aspect of His Creation—showers and dew, fire and heat, frost and cold, birds, beasts and livestock. Austin's poem also meditates on the mystery of the Trinity.
The choir is split into eight parts plus a soprano soloist, with abundant antiphonal writing between male and female voices (the tenors and basses in fact open the work), and the vivid imagery of the text affords Vaughan Williams ample opportunity to engage in luxurious word-painting that uses his forces to their full potential.
Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living is a 40-minute, five movement work scored for mixed choir and orchestra and soprano soloist. Combining both liturgical and non-liturgical texts, this powerful piece projects a wide range of meaningful expression, from a biting essay on the vanity and pain of mankind to a plea for mercy, and finally a celebration of eternal light.
Its popularity has been growing quickly and enthusiastically since its conception five years ago due to its lush choral voicings, soaring climaxes, and sensitive intimate moments.
Dr. Taylor will conduct this remarkable work in Kiev, Ukraine, with the Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in late May, bringing some of these Longview singers with him to sing with this world-class ensemble and to engage in missions work.
LeTourneau University is the premier Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, hybrid options at centers in the Dallas and Houston areas and fully online programs. For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.