Three Bluefield College music ensembles comprised of voices and instrumentalists from both the campus and community will join in presenting Johannes Brahms’ “Requiem,” Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Harman Chapel.
Among the groups participating in the performance of the classic masterpiece will be BC’s select student voice ensemble, Variations; its college-community choir, Masterworks Chorale; and its town and gown concert instrumental ensemble, the Community Orchestra.
“It is a rare privilege for all of us in the Bluefield College Music Department to unite our efforts to present a program for the community,” said BC’s Bryant Moxley, head of the Department of Music. “The Brahms ‘Requiem’ is considered by many to be one of the most significant works for chorus and orchestra in the Western-Classical tradition.”
Under the direction of Moxley, Variations is a 20-plus voice auditioned touring chorus that performs a wide variety of the most challenging choral literature. In addition to its on-campus performances, the group tours annually throughout the region and has performed twice at Carnegie Hall and internationally in Austria, Italy, and the Czech Republic.
Under the direction of Dr. Barbara Hudson, assistant professor of music, Masterworks Chorale is a large vocal ensemble comprised of BC students, faculty, staff, and voices from the community. The group presents a minimum of two concerts per year, studying and performing a repertoire that includes major choral works, sacred and secular pieces, and special-themed concerts.
Under the direction of Dr. Charles Priest, instructor of music and coordinator of instrumental music, the Community Orchestra is an auditioned ensemble open to BC students, faculty, staff, and the community at-large. The group performs one concert each semester and often collaborates with Bluefield College choral ensembles for the presentation of major works, including standard orchestral literature.
The three groups will collaborate for the “Requiem” performance on April 19, a program that will include a rare, unpublished English version produced by Robert Shaw, one of the greatest choral musicians of the 20th century. Bluefield College music alumni Jamar Bennett (bass-baritone) and Emily Oblinger (soprano) will serve as soloists for the program.
“We have chosen to present this great masterpiece during Holy Week as an expression of our faith in the eternal life found in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus,” said Moxley. “We trust that this performance will be a powerful musical and spiritual experience for all who attend.”
The concert is open and free to the public. A freewill offering will be accepted. For more information, please contact the BC Office of Public Relations by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 276-326-4212.