By Lydia Dean
OBU News Bureau
ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will present the Ouachita Singers and Concert Choir in concert Tuesday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center, 409 Ouachita St. The performance, featuring both choirs collaborating on composer John Rutter’s masterwork, “Requiem,” is free and open to the public.
Rutter completed “Requiem,” which is dedicated to his late father, in 1985. The work is structured in seven movements; it sets to music parts of the text of the Latin Requiem Mass, as well as two passages from the Book of Psalms. An orchestra made up of Ouachita faculty and students, as well as members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, will accompany the choirs. Soprano Kara Claybrook, visiting instructor of music at Ouachita, will be a featured soloist.
“I am thrilled to have a large choral masterwork performance with an orchestra,” said conductor Dr. Joshua Brown, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at Ouachita. “It has been a while since the Ouachita community has had this type of large choral/orchestral experience, since performances like these were not an option during the pandemic. The vast majority of the text is in English, and it should be meaningful to all those who come to hear it. We hope it is a blessing to our audience.”
He added, “I hope our students gain an appreciation for these types of works and the preparation and collaboration they demand, and a deeper appreciation for this type of choral repertoire.”
The Ouachita Singers will open the program with “The Conversion of Saul” by Z. Randall Stroope. To close the concert, both choirs will perform Mark Hayes’ “Te Deum,” featuring mezzo soprano Dr. Natilan Crutcher, visiting assistant professor of music at Ouachita, and baritone Dr. Gary Gerber, dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts.
For more information about Ouachita Singers and Concert Choir, contact Dr. Joshua Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (870) 245-5143.