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Student and community chorus presents Mozart’s “Requiem”
Two very different populations have one thing in common – Monday nights with Mozart. For the first time, Radford University students and community members together formed the Radford University Chorus and rehearsed Monday evenings. From this effort, in an April 24 concert, the group will present Mozart’s “Requiem.”
The University Chorus is an initiative brought to the university by Meredith Bowen, assistant professor of music and director of the university’s choirs. Each week through out the spring semester the chorus met and prepared for the upcoming concert.
“Students and community members alike have learned from each other,” Bowen said. “This ensemble has created a sense of intergenerational community unlike any in the area. The community members bring the joy of music making and passion for the art and the students bring all of their musical knowledge including their ability to read music and their emerging leadership. It’s been really great to see the students grow as leaders in this ensemble.”
The biggest challenge of for the newly formed chorus was tackling Mozart’s “Requiem.” Bowen said the choral members who persevered through this difficult piece have done a wonderful job.
The chorus has had an added benefit beyond the performance opportunity. Some of the students who are preservice teachers served as rehearsal technicians and gained leadership experience. These students in Vocal Pedagogy (music education course) were each given music selections to rehearse in sectionals.
Bowen explained that sectionals are when the four voice parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass singers) split into their vocal range groups and rehearse complicated sections.
“For a beginning teacher, it is hard to balance listening to what is incorrect and fixing incorrect notes and rhythms,” Bowen said. “The students rose to the challenge and will be that much better the next time they get in front of an ensemble!”
As to what the audience can expect from attending “Requiem,” Bowen believes they will hear 40 minutes of some of the most beautiful music ever written.
Students will sings the solo parts in two quartets. Soloists are Sean Anderson, Missy Caton, Charlotte Hargest, Zoe Jones, Caleb Linkous, Alex Lyons, Katie Metzler and Tim Smith.
The performance will also feature string players, wind musicians and organist Cynthia Flanagan, a graduate music student. Joe Scartelli, interim provost and music professor, will play double bass.
Mozart’s “Requiem” is free to the general public. It starts at 7:30 p.m., April 24 at the Performance Hall in the Covington Center.
For those interested in joining the Radford University Chorus, it meets every fall and spring semester. A collaboration with university brass musicians, and Vivaldi’s “Gloria” are in the works for future projects.