Nova Singers, under the direction of Dr. Laura Lane, presents two performances of Johannes Brahms' Requiem, Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Central Congregational Church, Galesburg, and on Sunday, October 21, at 4:00 p.m. at First Congregational Church, Moline.
Nova Singers open their 27th season with two performances of Johannes Brahms' "A German Requiem." Joining Nova Singers for these concerts are guest pianist Ashlee Mack and Megan Clewell, and vocalists Sarah Moran, soprano, and Gregory Lewis, baritone.
"Brahms named his first great work 'A German Requiem' because he wanted this to be very different from the traditional requiem masses of the Catholic Church,” explained Lane, professor of music and director of choral activities at Knox College in Galesburg. " Brahms chose the words himself, from various sources. His choices show us Brahms believed that a requiem encourages us to accept the reality of the transience of life, offers consolation and comfort, and gives us hope for a life after death….I have conducted the Brahms Requiem twice before, with a large chorus and full orchestra. But this will be the first time I’ve ever done it with a small choir like Nova Singers and piano. I could not have imagined how beautiful the music is when sung by this 30-voice version of Nova Singers---it’s so clear and clean, and I can understand every word. Also, the piano accompaniment is incredibly exciting. Ashlee and Megan have become an orchestra at the keyboard!"
About the guest artists:
Pianist Megan Clewell is an instructor of piano and staff accompanist at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. An active chamber musician and vocal coach, Clewell most recently served as coach/rehearsal pianist at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Previously, she was involved with the Arizona State University Lyric Opera Theatre and the ASU Wind Ensemble.
Pianist Ashlee Mack has performed solo and chamber music with new-music organizations and has given recitals across the United States, and in Germany and Italy, including in 2011 with the Nova Singers. Mack is the coordinator of Piano Instruction at Knox College.
Soprano Sarah Moran has performed with the Galesburg Community Chorus, Elgin Choral Union, Carl Sandburg College Choir, Knox-Galesburg Symphony, Nova Singers, and University of Washington Symphony Orchestra. She is lecturer of voice, opera workshop, and vocal pedagogy at Knox College.
Baritone Gregory GD Lewis has performed in oratorio and opera in regional houses across the U.S. He will be featured as baritone soloist with the Galesburg Community Chorus in November and the Elgin Choral Union in April and May of 2013. Lewis teaches voice at Knox College and conduct’s the Knox College Women’s Chorale and the Knox College Men’s Ensemble.
Nova Singers, a professional vocal ensemble under the direction of Dr. Laura Lane, is renowned for bringing a wide variety of choral music to its audiences, and for the spirit and charm the singers impart to their music. Dr. Lane has been serving the greater Galesburg and Quad-Cities communities for over twenty-five years, bringing her passion for music and expressive singing to audiences and singers alike.
Tickets for this concert are available through Nova’s office and at the door. Admission is $18 for adults and $15 for seniors. Students are admitted free of charge. Brahms Requiem is sponsored by OSF St. Mary Medical Center and OSF Galesburg Clinic. Nova Singers’ 2012-2013 season is partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. For information about tickets, recordings, or other Nova Singers performances, please call Nova Singers at 309-341-7038 or email
. Information is also available at www.novasingers.com.