UA Little Rock Community Chorus, Second Presbyterian Church to perform ‘Mass of the Children’

Bevan Keating leads the UA Little Rock Community Chorus and Second Presbyterian Church choirs during a practice at Second Presbyterian Church.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Community Chorus and the choirs of Second Presbyterian Church will perform John Rutter’s “Mass of the Children” Saturday, Nov. 18. 

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church of Little Rock, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive. General admission tickets are $20 while UA Little Rock students and employees can receive one ticket for free with ID.

Conducted by Dr. Bevan Keating, the UA Little Rock Community Chorus is comprised of nearly 100 members from the university and the community who perform choral masterpieces accompanied by a full orchestra.

The UA Little Rock Community Chorus joins with the adult and children’s choirs of Second Presbyterian Church, the Praeclara Vocal Company, and professional orchestra players from across the state to present two choral compositions that celebrate the fusion of English poetry and song.

John Rutter’s “Mass of the Children” mixes the traditional Greek and Latin text of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s “Missa Brevis” with the English poetry of William Blake and Bishop Thomas Ken in a five-movement work for two choirs and orchestra.

First performed in New York in 2003, this uplifting piece brings together soprano and baritone solo passages that harmonize and contrast with the choral passages sung by the children’s voices (the songs of innocence) and by the adult group (the songs of experience). Shannon Rookey and Luke Angelo, members of the Praeclara Vocal Company, will perform as the soprano and baritone soloists.

Keating prefaces the larger Rutter work with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 17-minute “Serenade to Music,” another British composition that offers a study in contrasts of voices.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.praeclara.org or at the door.

For more information, contact Karen Kuralt at 501-569-8334 or kmkuralt@ualr.edu.

In the upper right photo, Bevan Keating leads the UA Little Rock Community Chorus and Second Presbyterian Church choirs during a practice at Second Presbyterian Church.

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