Saturday night I sang with the Spartanburg Festival Chorus and the Spartanburg Philharmonic in their performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem. The Festival Chorus is directed by Keith Jones, and the Philharmonic is conducted by Sarah Ionnides, who conducted this performance.
The Festival Chorus consists mostly of Converse students with some additions from area churches. As such, it was heavy on sopranos and altos, but was lacking in the men’s sections. Four of us from the Chorale were invited to fill in the ranks a bit. Even with two from the Chorale and Keith Jones singing tenor, there were only nine total tenors. As such, Dave Parker and I not only sang bass, but filled in the tenor parts where we could.
It took awhile to get used to Sarah Ionnides style of conducting. She proved herself a capable conductor, with definite ideas about musical interpretation. As it turns out, this was the first collaboration between these two ensembles.
The number of rehearsals this week was very tiring, but by the end the piece came together. There was a good turnout for the concert at First Baptist in Spartanburg. The director of the Spartanburg Music Foundation got up and spoke for a few minutes, then she introduced Senator Glenn Reese. Never give a politician a pulpit. The senator rattled on for a ridiculous amount of time about topics totally unrelated to the concert. After he sat down, the pastor of the church got up, said a few words, then had a prayer. This was quite a bit different from a Peace Center performance.
The concert went very smoothly, and was well-received. We got a standing ovation, with multiple curtain calls. The week was tough, and singing both tenor and bass were vocally demanding, but I’m glad I did it.
I was able to catch a bit of of our dress rehearsal on Saturday morning on my little Nikon S50. I was able to place it on a small tripod just above my head. This clip is part of the most famous section of the German Requiem, “Wie lieblich sind diene Wohnungen.” You can see my shiny head in the foreground. Also, apparently the organ pipes were right behind us, so those come through loud and clear in one spot.