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11 April 2007

JSU Choral Department Announces Concert
Featuring Johannes Brahms' "A German Requiem"

On Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. the Jacksonville State University A Cappella Choir and the Calhoun County Civic Chorale will be performing "A German Requiem" by Johannes Brahms. They will be accompanied by an orchestra comprised of JSU students, faculty, alumni, and professional musicians from throughout central Alabama. Dr. Nathan Wight and Ms. Teresa Stricklin, JSU voice faculty, will be featured soloists in this performance.

The Requiem (from the Latin requiés, rest) or Requiem Mass, also known formally (in Latin) as the Missa pro defunctis or Missa defunctorum, is a liturgical service of the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Anglican "High" Church and certain Lutheran Churches in the United States. There is also a requiem, with a wholly different ritual form and texts, that is observed in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. The common theme of requiems is prayer for the salvation of the soul(s) of the departed, and it is used both at services immediately preceding a burial, and on occasions of more general remembrance.

"Requiem" is also the title of various musical compositions used in such liturgical services or as concert pieces as settings of the portions of that Mass which have been traditionally sung in the Roman Catholic liturgy. While the prayers in the regular Mass as the Introit and Gradual change according to the Calendar of Saints, the text for the requiem Mass is particularly fixed. Originally such funeral musical compositions were meant to be performed in liturgical services, in Latin, with monophonic chant. Eventually the dramatic character began to appeal to composers to an extent that made the requiem a genre of its own.

Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of the Romantic period. In this Requiem, Brahms was an originator. Not only did Brahms substitute the German language for the more familiar Latin, but rather than use the standard liturgical text, he substituted an entirely independent compilation of texts from scripture with no liturgical purpose. The primary emphasis of his text is on the comforting of the living and not the spiritual destiny of the departed.

This is the first time this work has been performed in Calhoun County in its entirety, although many people are familiar with the fourth movement “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” which is a popular anthem for ambitious church choirs. JSU choirs will perform this work in English. A Cappella Choir and the Calhoun County Civic Chorale are under the direction of Dr. Patricia Corbin, JSU Director of Choral Activities. The rehearsal accompanist for both choirs is Christy D’Ambrosio.

This concert is free and open to the public, although seating is limited. First United Methodist Church is located at 1400 Noble Street in Anniston. For further information, please contact the Choral Activities Office at (256) 782-5544.

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