Friday, November 10, 2017

Mozart Concert Photos and Response

Photo from balcony by Seegmiller family.

Harold Shirley, OSU President, introduces the music.

Thanks to Heritage Center ushers and staff

OSU Manager Emily Hepworth and her friend Jennifer Maxwell provided pre-concert lobby music.

Teresa Redd, rehearsal and concert keyboard

Laura Bird backstage warming up by concert roses.

Julie Kluber and Shanan Arslanian warming up before the concert.

Ellie Seegmiller is one of our newest OSU musicians, warming up on viola.
OSU Music Director Xun Sun directing the "Overture to Marriage of Figaro"
Dr. Xun Sun

Lindsey Lopez, mezzo-soprano soloist

Adrienne Tedjamulia Read, flute soloist
Dr. Ryan Murphy, guest director for Requiem

Soloists: Terri Metcalf-Peterson, Taliah Byers, Lawrence Johnson, and Alex Byers

Recognizing Jackie Riddle-Jackson at the end of the concert.
Thanks to everyone involved in the massive undertaking.  We appreciate all of you.  
CDs and DVDs available:

A couple of the written responses:

Hello Alex and Chorale leaders,
Last night's performance of the Requiem was spectacular!  It was one of the best choral performances I have ever heard.  The acoustics were great, the singers knew their stuff.  The performance was expressive, compelling and technically perfect, as far as I could tell.  And the orchestra did it's part well.

Earlier I had hoped to sing with you but I just couldn't make the rehearsals.  Only my son Devon in Acapella Choir represented our family.  However in a way I'm glad because I got to sit back and hear it.  

The singing was full of that beautiful chiaroscuro ringing sound, great balance powerful dynamics.  Great expressiveness.  I cannot think of one aspect of the singing that could have been better.  The soloists were also amazing.  And even when singing together the sound of harmony was sweet.  That can be hard to do with soloists singing in full voice.  Alex, since I know you personally, let me say that even though I have heard you sing before, you surprised me by the great bass resonance and masterful quality of your performance.  

I have never written a gushing letter like this before, but I just thought you deserved to know my experience in the audience.  This performance absolutely exceeded my expectations.  The announcer was right that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  For me it was, and I am very glad I didn't miss it!

Thank you for all of your hard work that it took to make it happen!  Please pass my comments on to Jackie and the others who were so vital to last night's performance of Mozart's Requiem.
 Kind regards,
Dave Thomas

Dear All,
What a wonderful past few days, and so transformative for both choir and orchestra!!!
It has been a night of reflection and a morning of thought.
So many people have texted and emailed their thoughts of this venture, all have been positive, all have been encouraging and many have wondered how we were able to bring in someone like Ryan Murphy.

Because of so many who have worked to make this happen, it was successful and it was fun, because Ryan Murphy is who he is, because he is generous and willing to work with everyone it helped to create an environment of learning and confidence for all. His preparation was astounding we felt that he knew what he wanted and where he was taking us, that was a learning lesson for me especially. The choir and orchestra responded and grew in a few short days more than was truly imaginable, it was successful.

 Emily made so many efforts to create space for us to rehearse in and to insure that both choir and orchestra were well taken care of.  Sara worked to have advertising that met the needs of what it takes to advertise an event in Cedar City,
Rollan was tireless in creating posters and programs even though the process was trying because we were so demanding:). Sheri, Judy and Harold helped to make sure that any need from food to gift baskets and so much more like scores and details were all taken care of. Jason of the Heritage and his staff are true professionals and they help us to shine, even when we aren't perfect.

Teresa Redd worked tirelessly to play very difficult music, she was able to see this process through and to keep her wits about her under some personal difficult family challenges.
Melissa and Suzanne stepped in and were there for everything that is needed, they are minutemen (women) that I can call on to take care of things that would seem impossible in the moment, like seating and things that others cannot see, they do it with grace and tact, those are truly great qualities to have.

It took the generosity of the other conductors, Xun Krystal and Alex to work through difficult passages and unfamiliar text and tempos that are unrelenting and pushy, not to mention just plain hard.

And again, Ryan! wow! it would not have been a possibility if you had not been willing to sacrifice time, work and family and then the unknowing of what we would be and where we would have to go to create some great music, we are truly blessed by your ability and preparation and willingness.

My husband in his text to me last night wrote the following:
"It clearly took a lot of work for both the orchestra and the choir!  Neither one has ever done that piece and will not likely do it again!  The Mozart Requiem has an ethereal quality to it that transcends the players performance!  Terri's very bright and pure pitch reflected that as much as anything against the backdrop of that choir, who being made up of students and townspeople, made heaven sing!  It isn't Bach's B minor, and it doesn't have tone themes of Brahms or the dramatic flare of Verdi, but it does have the very sobering introspection of a young talented artist dying before his time and the genius of turning music into the solace of that last great mystery no man but one has solved!"

My sincere and deep appreciation to all of you for all you have done to create something that will be a great memory for so many, and not only a memory but a growing experience that we could not have gotten any other way.

Jackie Riddle-Jackson

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