Concert set to honor Starr

Flemish Fortnight closing concert at Jones Concert Hall. Featured are Baylor University Wind Ensemble, A Cappella Choir, Concert Choir and Symphony Orchestra. Conductors include Norbert Nozy, Vic Nees and Stephen Heyde. 09/29/2006

Emily Adams, contributor

The Baylor Symphony Orchestra is set to perform Johannes Brahms’ “A German Requiem” for the President’s Concert with the Concert and A Cappella Choirs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Jones Concert Hall.

The President’s Concert was initiated in 1984 and has since been an annual School of Music tradition. Every spring, it is an opportunity for campus musicians to thank the president for all of his support for the School of Music. Stephen Heyde, director of orchestral activities, will conduct the 225-person ensemble in a seven-movement piece by composer Johannes Brahms.

“It’s just a way for us to try to publicly express our appreciation for the support of Judge Starr and Mrs. Starr because they are both wonderful music supporters,” Heyde said. “We are grateful because music is a special kind of instruction. When you hear these exceptional pieces of work and the combined efforts of 225 people on stage, all united in a common goal of creating this beautiful work of art, it’s something that touches you in a way nothing else can.”

Baylor School of Music alumni Kiri Deonarine, a soprano soloist, and Thomas Cannon, a baritone soloist, will be brought in to perform. Cannon has performed across the nation, including at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Deonarine most recently performed in Prague with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

Lynne Gackle, director of choral activities, and Stephen Gusukuma, lecturer in choral music, have been preparing the choirs all semester.

“The work is gorgeous,” Gackle said. “Where most requiem masses are for the dead, this is for the living. It’s a piece of great comfort and hope.”

Colorado Springs, Colo., senior Megan Becker said shecannot think of a better way to spend her last performance in Jones Concert Hall.

“As the choir, we usually only sing with piano, organ and maybe the occasional percussion lineup. Singing with the orchestra is like the heavens opening up before us,” Becker said. “The Brahms is the perfect work to perform before so many of us leave this place.”

General admission tickets are on sale for $15 through the School of Music website.