Orchestra, Choral Union, University Choir, Jackson School Choir to Perform ‘Mass of the Children’

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 15, 2005 — The Southeast Missouri Symphony will combine May 3 with Southeast’s Choral Union, University Choir and a children’s choir drawn from the Jackson Public Schools to present the “Mass of the Children” by British composer John Rutter.

The concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Academic Auditorium on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.

Also featured in this work will be vocal soloists Lori Shaffer, soprano, and Christopher Goeke, tenor.  This concert is the fifth and final concert in the Symphony’s 2004-2005 Subscription Series. 

The concert will open with several works for symphonic orchestra.  Featured on the first half of the program will be English composer Ralph Vaughan William’s evocative “Norfolk Rhapsody” for symphony orchestra.  A lyrical and beautifully-scored work, this composition incorporates English folk songs for several of its melodies.  Sara Edgerton, director of the orchestra, will conduct this work with the symphony orchestra.

The symphony orchestra will then be joined with Southeast’s Choral Union and University Choir in a performance of the “Mass of the Children,” conducted by Southeast faculty member Steve Hendricks. Written in 2003, the “Mass of the Children” is a testimony to Rutter’s desire to compose music that is accessible to performers and audiences alike.  This work — for children’s chorus, mixed-adult chorus, soloists and orchestra — is focused around the traditional Latin Missa Brevis augmented by English hymns.  This piece is a tale of hope and salvation as told through the centuries through varied traditions.  Joining the University choirs in this performance will be a select children’s choir drawn from the Jackson Public School District and prepared by Beth St. John, choir director.

Tickets for this concert are now available and can be purchased by contacting the University’s Performing Arts Box Office at (573) 651-2265.  There also will be a limited number of tickets available at the door on the night of the performance.