November 1, 2004
Mass of the Children by John Rutter will be presented by six local choirs, soloists, and chamber orchestra at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 16, in Oklahoma Baptist University’s Raley Chapel.
“This will be one of the first performances of Mass of the Children in this part of Oklahoma,” said Dr. John Simons, conductor.
The one-hour event will include a mini-concert by the OBU Children's Concert Choir and the performance of Mass of the Children by 150 voices, two soloists, chamber orchestra, and organ. The choral groups involved are the OBU Children's Concert Choir, and the OBU Youth Chorale, both conducted by Darla Eshelman; The Del Aires, conducted by Suzanne Gett; Sine Nomine, conducted by JC Farrand; and the University Chapel Choir, conducted by Simons.
Soloists are Rhetta Hudson, soprano and Paul Hammond, bass.
The Chamber Orchestra is conducted by John Simons with Ron Lewis, organ.
“Mass of the Children is bright and tuneful,” said Simons. “In addition to the beautiful worship text, Rutter adds a poem “Little Lamb Who Made Thee” by William Blake and Lancelot Andrewes’ prayer which begins, “Lord, open thou mine eyes that I may see thee.”
The children's choir blends with the larger adult choral force, and the soloists interact with the orchestra and choirs to state powerful parts of the worship text such as, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" and "Christ be in my days of joy and days of sorrow."
“We invite the community to attend this work and support to the children in our area,” said Simons. “As you attend the concert, we ask you bring a canned good for an area food pantry, and ask that you consider giving a donation to the work of the OBU Children's Concert Choir.”
The OBU Children’s Concert Choir was selected to sing at the National American Choral Directors Association in Los Angeles. This is one of the most prestigious honors extended to any choir at any level. They will represent not only their choir, but also our community.
“We suggest you give a $3 dollar donation for admission to help offset the enormous cost of sending our choir to represent us on a national stage,” Simons said. “However, the donation is not required for admission. The entire event will last approximately one hour, and will be an exciting, meaningful, and passionate event for all people of all ages.”