In its fortieth season, the Louisiana Choral Foundation’s Masterworks Chorale continues to produce innovative programming while providing choral enrichment and compelling performances for Southwest Louisiana. This season, entitled Musical Treasures, Young and Old, will feature a variety of musical offerings occurring in several venues.
The Fall Concert will be presented in the sanctuary of University United Methodist Church of Lake Charles on October 21 and 23. These concerts will include Four American Folk Hymns arranged by Mack Wilberg. The hymns presented will be: “Saints Bound for Heaven,” “Death Shall Not Destroy My Comfort,” “We’ll Shout and Give Him Glory,” and “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” A major work and the focal point of the concert will be Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. This work will be accompanied by an instrumental chamber ensemble. The work will also include both a soprano and tenor soloist. In describing his work, Forrest states, “A Requiem, at its core is a prayer for rest – traditionally, for the deceased. The five movements from this Requiem, however, form a narrative just as much for the living, and their struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead.”
The annual Christmas Concert will be presented in two venues, Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Lake Charles at 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening, December 9 and Immaculate Conception Church in Sulphur at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, December 11. Masterworks Chorale will perform Mark Hayes’ dramatic setting of the Gloria. In the preface to his work, Hayes states, “The scripture upon which the first movement of the Gloria is based tells a story that is both dramatic and profoundly life-changing. . . it is my desire to capture the excitement that the angels announced to the shepherds and to hint at the glory of that celestial experience.” Also, Masterworks will perform, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore with music provided by Ken Darby and arranged for choir by Harry Simeone. In addition to Masterworks Chorale, Les Petites Voix directed by Kari Proksch and the Bayou Bell Choir directed by Bruce Allured will each present seasonal selections. The concert will conclude with the traditional “O Holy Night.”
The Spring Concert will feature John Rutter’s Mass for the Children. Masterworks Chorale will be joined by Les Petites Voix and treble members from the St. Louis High School choir under the direction of Pam LeBlanc. The work will also feature a soprano and baritone soloist. Mass for the Children was written in late 2002 and early 2003 for a Carnegie Hall debut concert. In describing his musical intentions, Rutter states, “I had always wanted to write a work combining children’s choir with adult performers, not only because I find the sound of children’s voices irresistible but also because I wanted to repay a debt. As a boy soprano in my school choir I had been thrilled whenever our choir took part in adult works with children’s parts, such as the Mahler Third Symphony and the Britten War Requiem. Years later, I remembered this experience and wanted to write something that would give children a similar opportunity to perform alongside adult professionals.”