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Summer Chorus 2017
Brahms: Requiem

The Summer Chorus is an annual festival chorus sponsored by the Oratorio Society of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota School of Music. Participation is open to all experienced choral singers with no audition!

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OSM is requesting donations for our Summer Chorus Program. It is important to us to keep this event accessible in terms of low registration fees and ticket prices, but in doing so this year we're not able to cover the significant expense of the orchestra required for the Brahms Requiem. We are asking Summer Chorus members and other OSM supporters who are able, to please contribute to Summer Chorus 2017.

Contribute to Summer Chorus 2017

The idea of composing a requiem in the German language based on texts from the Lutheran Bible and the Apocrypha began to take shape in Brahms' mind in 1857, a year after the death of his friend and mentor, Robert Schumann. But it wasn't until 1865, following the death of Brahms' mother, that he took up composition of the music in earnest. After another three years, the work stood complete, having grown from a choral piece into a cantata, and then into a seven-movement Requiem for chorus, soloists and orchestra. In the process, it became the central work of Brahms' career, the one that established him as a composer of major stature and linked two of the most important spheres of his lifelong musical endeavor, the vocal and the symphonic. A northerner, Brahms was steeped in the traditions of Protestantism, though unlike Bach, he remained unconvinced of man's afterlife. It was not his intention to pattern his Requiem after the Latin mass for the dead, nor to proclaim what he felt were false hopes for resurrection. Instead, Ein Deutsches Requiem is a work of consolation for those left behind. The gentle opening movement, "Selig sind, die da Leid tragen" (Blessed are they that mourn), immediately marks the shift of emphasis toward the living. The remaining movements touch on the subject of death from a variety of angles. With "Selig sind die Toten" (Blessed are the dead), the work ends on a note of untroubled acceptance and resignation, in the pastoral key of F major, far from the sting of death.

Oratorio Society Summer Chorus

Summer Chorus 2017

Mon, Jul 10, 7–9:30 p.m.
Wed, Jul 12, 7–9:30 p.m.
Mon, Jul 17, 7–9:30 p.m.
Wed, Jul 19, 7–9:30 p.m.
Mon, Jul 24, 7–9:30 p.m.
Wed, Jul 26, 7–9:30 p.m.
Mon, Jul 31, 7–9:30 p.m.
Wed, Aug 2, 7–9:30 p.m.
Sat, Aug 5, 2–5:00 p.m.; Concert 7:30 p.m.

Dress rehearsal at Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis.



A really nice experience that I would recommend to others!

Matthew Mehaffey is a wonderful conductor and has the ability to pull a large group of people together in a short period of time and present a great performance.

For someone who had been away from reading music for years it was a huge challenge to keep up with the musical verbiage but at the same time really fun. The professional way that you lead us was a special delight. I had forgotten how much security comes from having confidence in a musical conductor.

Being in this chorus was a phenomenal experience! It taught me quite a bit about myself and my abilities that I had not yet discovered, as far as what I thought I could or could not do, musically.