Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Caritas Chorale to sing for peace

Choir to perform Haydn's 'Mass in Time of War'

Express Staff Writer

Dick Brown directs Caritas the orchestra and the Caritas Chorale choir in Ketchum. Photo by Mountain Express

When Napoleon Bonaparte was terrorizing Austria in 1796, Emperor Franz Josef called for a moratorium on peace prayers in churches until the young general had been driven out of the country. In a response to the current events of his time, Joseph Haydn composed "Missa in Tempore Belli," or "Mass in Time of War."

"I am a history and news junkie, and I like to find things that connect with situations like now," said Caritas Chorale Director Dick Brown. "It's an extremely appropriate piece. It's not sad. It is a joyful and triumphant piece."

The Caritas Chorale choir has been working on the 50-minute production on and off for three months, and the performance will include guest artists performing solos, which include soprano Katherine Edison, mezzo-soprano Louisa Waycott, tenor Tyler Smith and bass James Martin.

"Caritas Chorale is a unique family here in the valley," Brown said. "The education level is extremely high and people who move here are used to hearing the highest level in music. All the things we do here create a healthy music attitude."

The choir members range from high school students on up. Many members sang in high school choirs and in college and like to be challenged.

"I like throwing them the challenging pieces," Brown said. "I think this is one of the best pieces we have done, and that's exciting."

The 35-piece orchestra is primarily from Boise and there are 75 singers and four soloists for the performance. The concert is free and donations are accepted, which is the primary source of funding for Caritas Chorale. "Mass in Time of War" will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum on Saturday, Jan. 31, and Sunday, Feb. 1.

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