Heritage Chorale to perform Mozart's "Requiem" in River Forest

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By Community Editor

Courtesy Lillian Hohmann, Heritage Chorale

Mozart's Requiem has long been a powerful and majestic favorite in the world of choral music. This much loved work will be performed by Heritage Chorale along with three of Bruckner's motets, Poulenc's Litanies a la Vierge Noire (Litanies to the Black Virgin) and the world premiere of a setting of Psalm 136 by composer Howard Whitaker. The same program will be presented at two concerts, one on Saturday, April 13th, at 7:30 pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division Street, River Forest and again on Sunday afternoon, April 14th at 3:00 pm at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, 1730 Jackson Avenue, River Forest.

Composed in 1791, the year of his death, Mozart's Requiem has inspired generations of listeners with its enormous expressive breadth: from visceral pleas for mercy in the Kyrie through the harrowing anguish of the Dies Irae to the radiance of the Recordare and the humility of the Hostias. Lending their significant talents to the sixty voices of Heritage Chorale are four outstanding professional soloists: soprano Christine Steyer, mezzo soprano Karen Brunssen, tenor Hoss Brock, and bass Charles Brown and the Concordia University Chamber Orchestra. Stephen Wente, PhD, widely recognized as an organist in the area and for his settings of hymns and organ preludes will accompany the chorus in the pieces by Poulenc and Whitaker.

Ms. Steyer, 2012 winner of the American Prize Chicago Opera Award and 2011 winner of the American Prize in Vocal Performance-Friedrich and Virginia Schoor Memorial Awards in Art Song has performed numerous opera roles in other states as well as with Lyric Opera of Chicago where she sang in the chorus. In 2009 she founded Bellissima Opera Outreach performing for over 15,000 children.

Mr. Brock now performing with Lyric Opera chorus has been featured in the area's most prestigious organizations, including the Chicago Symphony, Music of the Baroque, Chicago a cappella and the Grant Park Music Festival. Recent performances include the North American premiere of Richard Blackford's Not in Our Time and Verdi's Requiem with the Peninsula Music Festival.

Ms. Brunssen is associate professor of voice and co-chair of music performance at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music. She has appeared with symphony orchestras in major cities from San Diego and Seattle to Houston, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, including Chicago and performed with Music of the Baroque and Chicago Opera Theatre. Her recordings include Telemann's Day of Judgment, Mozart's Mass in C Minor and Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610.

Mr. Brown, Ph D, is associate professor of music and director of choral activities at Concordia University Chicago where he conducts the Kapelle and Mannerchor (men's choir). He teaches a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. Mr. Brown solos in bass-baritone roles in the Chicago area specializing in Baroque oratorio as well as on the east coast and in the southwest.

Heritage Chorale is celebrating 28 years of providing quality choral music to the tri-village area. It has been directed for the past five years by Maurice Boyer, Ph D, assistant professor of music at Concordia University Chicago. Tickets are available at heritagechorale.com, by calling 708-848-9066 or at the door just before the concerts. Adults $18, Seniors $15, college students $10. Students through high school are admitted at no charge.

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