HILLSBORO, Kan. – The Tabor College Concert Choir and Concerto Bella Voce are combining to perform John Rutter’s Requiem at 7 p.m., Sunday, May 11 at the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church located at 300 Prairie Pointe in Hillsboro.
Rutter’s Requiem is a 40-minute work for chorus, orchestra and a soprano solo. The orchestra is comprised of members of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, which will provide a very strong and professional combination with the choir.
“I’ve been very pleased and impressed with how quickly the choirs have taken to the work,” said Dr. Brad Vogel, director of choral music at Tabor College. “I’m pleased with the amount of detail and expression they are able to give to the performance.”
Students performing in this concert will experience pride and accomplishment for being able to honor God with music.
“John Rutter’s Requiem is a beautiful piece of music,” said Cora Ruhl, senior at Tabor College. “Singing it fills me with a sense of peace and joy. I’m thrilled to be a part of singing it because I can think of few more enjoyable ways of praising God than singing such powerful, moving music alongside my friends.”
In addition to the full strings and winds sections, the orchestra also features harp, which is a very special part of the sound of the work. Jane Hyde, a local professional harpist, will be performing with the group.
Janie Brokenicky, Tabor College assistant professor of choral music, will be featured as the soprano soloist.
“As a soloist, Rutter has presented quite the challenge for the soprano,” Brokenicky said. “The line is overall high and soft, reminiscent of the ‘boy choir’ sound that is so beloved of English composers and conductors. The beauty and purity of the sound is undeniable.”
Also in the program will be three movements from Rutter’s Five Orchestral Meditations. These are orchestral arrangements of some of Rutter’s works for choir, and will be used as an overture, a postlude and a “meditation” in the middle of the Requiem. It is a very nice and unique addition to the performance of the Requiem and also provides an opportunity to “show off” the orchestra.
The entire performance will be a spiritual and emotional experience for those in attendance.
“The sound of the performance will very much support the assurance of our faith in eternal life,” added Vogel. “The texts utilized by Rutter provide a very clear proclamation of Jesus Christ. It begins and ends very quietly, so it provides a very peaceful and meditative environment.”
Rutter composed his Requiem in response to a personal bereavement. In the liturgy, a requiem (meaning “rest”) is a funeral service—a collection of prayers for the soul of the deceased. The Requiem is also a service of life. It contains those texts of the requiem mass that are uplifting rather than terrifying, and texts that present Christ, the Lamb of God.
Concert goers that have never heard this piece of music performed will experience a very interesting finish to the concert.
“When the performance is completed, it is so peaceful that audiences often do not know how to respond,” Vogel said. “The natural response is quietness and reflection; however, the beauty of the work sort of demands a more demonstrative response!”