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Saturday, May 7, 2022

‘Requiem for the Living’ to Highlight Chorale Concerts

Dan Forrest composer of Requiem for the Living
Dan Forrest, composer of “Requiem for the Living.” (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

South Holland, IL-(ENEWSPF)- South Holland Master Chorale will conclude its current musical season with a pair of concerts featuring two works of supreme beauty and great spiritual depth. Highlighting the spring concerts will be the intensely moving “Requiem for the Living” by contemporary American composer Dan Forrest.

Performances by the 80-member Chorale will be May 15, at 4 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 17951 Dixie Highway, Homewood; and May 22, at 4 p.m. at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, 880 E. 154th Street, South Holland.

Leading the performances will be Franz Josef Haydn’s Missa Brevis No. 7, also known as the “Little Organ Mass”. This rendition of music for the Roman Catholic Mass, dating from about 1777, takes its popular name from the extended “Benedictus” movement for soprano solo and organ.

“Requiem for the Living” which was first performed in 2013, is a musical setting of prayers from the traditional Catholic Mass for the Dead, interspersed with other scriptural texts. Among those texts is the powerful second movement, “Vanitas Vanitatum,” based on the text from Ecclesiastes, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!”

Regarding his composition, Forrest says, “A Requiem, at its core, is a prayer for rest, traditionally for the deceased: Grant THEM rest. The five movements of the ‘Requiem for the Living,’ however, form a narrative just as much for the living and our own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead: Grant US rest.”

Graeme Shields organist
Chicago-area organist Graeme Shields and a select group of chamber players will provide accompaniment in the concerts. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Chicago-area organist Graeme Shields and a select group of chamber players will provide accompaniment in the concerts.

The Chorale offers these two works as a memorial and a gesture of solace to those remembering loved ones lost, particularly those lost in the worldwide pandemic.

Several of the Chorale’s singers are from Park Forest.

These concerts also mark the final performance of Albert M. Jackson as musical director of South Holland Master Chorale. Jackson, who has directed the choral group, previously associated with South Suburban College, since 1998, announced his plans last fall to retire after the current season.

Admission to the concerts is free; donations will be accepted.

Audience members are asked to follow updated CDC guidelines regarding wearing of masks at the concerts, with consideration of their own health and the health of others in attendance. For more information, visit the Chorale website, southhollandmasterchorale.org, or email [email protected]

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