Orchestra, Choir, Choral Union to Perform ‘Haydn’s ‘Nelson’ Mass’



March 30, 2009 – The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, University Choir and Choral Union will combine to present Joseph Haydn’s “Nelson” Mass, a major work for chorus, soloists and orchestra at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7.

Also on the program will be three student soloists, who are the winners of this year’s Concerto and Aria Competition: Kenneth DeArman of Dexter, Mo., trombone; Jarred Harris of Cape Girardeau, string bass; and Laura Pace of Manchester, Mo., soprano.  Southeast faculty member Sara Edgerton, artistic director of the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the concerto and aria selections, and Steven Hendricks, director of choral activities and music education, will conduct the “Nelson Mass.”

This concert will be presented in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

The concert will open with the “Concerto in C Major” for string bass and orchestra by the prolific classical-era composer and Czech native, Johann Baptist Vanhal.  Vanhal was highly regarded in his lifetime, and his music shares stylistic traits with that of his contemporaries Mozart and Haydn.  Southeast music major Jarred Harris, string bass, will be the student soloist in this performance.

Also, the Symphony Orchestra will perform the evocative “Song to the Moon” by another Czech composer, the famous Romantic-era composer, Antonin Dvorak.  “Song to the Moon” is from Dvorak’s opera, “Rusalka,” which is based on the fairy tale story of the “Little Mermaid.”

For the second half of the concert, the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will be joined by Southeast’s University Choir and Choral Union in a performance of the “Nelson Mass,” a late, great work by the famous classical composer, Joseph Haydn. Considered by Haydn’s chief biographer, H. C. Robbins Landon, to be “arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition,” this work was written in 1798 and belongs to a set of six late Masses that Haydn composed.

The text for the Mass uses the traditional Latin Mass, and the choral and orchestral writing is inspired throughout.  This performance is given in honor of the “Haydn Year” 2009, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death. 

Vocal soloists in this performance are Southeast vocal faculty members Lori Shaffer, soprano; Leslie Jones, contralto; Christopher Goeke, tenor; and Timothy Schmidt, bass.


Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651-2265. Tickets also may be purchased at all MetroTix outlets, online at MetroTix.com keyword, “nelson” or by calling toll-free (800) 293-5949.