Firelands Symphony Chorale and Heidelberg University Concert Choir Performances

Mar 19, 2024 | Entertainment | 0 comments

The Firelands Symphony Chorale and Heidelberg University Concert Choir, under the direction of Michael Shirtz, will be joined by a chamber orchestra. (Photo by Doug Klein/Firelands Photography)

The chorale concert will include a performance of “A Prayer for Peace” by composer Matthew Kennedy.

The Firelands Symphony Chorale (FSC) and Heidelberg University Concert Choir present two performances of their “Requiem For The Living” concert on Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity United Church of Christ in Tiffin, and again on Sunday, April 7, at 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church is Sandusky. The chorale and university choir, under the direction of Michael Shirtz, will also feature a chamber orchestra and guest vocalist Kirsten C. Kunkle.

General admission tickets are available at www.firelandssymphony.com/tickets or by calling the FSO office at 419-621-4800 on Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult tickets are $20, and student tickets for youth and college students are free.

The concert headline will be Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living.” The five movements form a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead. This relatively new major choral work features themes of rest and mercy, turmoil, deliverance, peace and imagery inspired by the view of our planet from the Hubble Telescope.

The concert will also highlight “A Prayer for Peace” by Matthew Kennedy, noted composer and Heidelberg University Assistant Professor of Composition/Theory. This work, which premiered at this year’s Thanksgiving concert, is based on the text of the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Featuring soprano Kirsten C. Kunkle, the chorus, and sinfonietta of strings and winds, the work is a beautiful weaving or melodies and harmonies that calls attention to our own opportunities to do good for others, bring peace to the world, and be grateful for the gifts in our lives.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to write and collaborate with Mike, Kirsten and the chorale,” said composer Matthew

Kirsten C. Kunkle, world-renowned soprano, joins as the soloist for the concert. (Submitted photo)

Kennedy, whose works have been performed on five continents to critical acclaim. “As a teenager, I always said that all I wanted to do was make music with my friends. With the hospitality and collegial warmth I have received from everyone involved with FSO, it has felt like I am being welcomed as an old friend. ‘Prayer for Peace’ is a new work that is evergreen in relevance and in its plea for peace, unity, and for a humanity of use (and at peace).”

The concert program also includes “Ave Maria” and Ola Gjeilo’s “The Ground.” The Heidelberg University Concert Choir will also be performing “Nyon Nyon” by Jake Runestad, “Unclouded Day” by Shawn Kirchner, and “Never Let Go” by Rob Dietz. Audience members may recognize Kirsten C. Kunkle, guest vocalist, as the chorale’s artist in residence this season. Most recently, she performed the soprano solo in Poulenc’s “Gloria” with the orchestra in March. A voting citizen of the Mvskoke Nation, Kirsten C. Kunkle has been lauded as the leading Native American soprano in today’s classical music world. Kunkle is also the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Wilmington Concert Opera, a women and minority run opera company based in Wilmington, Delaware.

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