A Warm Welcome to the 2017-2018 Season

From Artistic Director David De Lyser

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Choral Arts Ensemble’s 49th season. We’re looking forward to once again presenting you with a broad selection of some of the finest choral music written, both very old and very new.

We open with the Brahms Requiem in the composer’s own arrangement for 4-hand, piano accompaniment. December will explore some great, yet rarely heard liturgical music from historical Latin American composers – especially those associated with the Mexico City Cathedral in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Trust me when I tell you their music was absolutely as stunning as their European counterparts of the day. Additional music to celebrate the season will round out the program. Our CAE Pops! Series in February returns to one of our most popular themes – great choruses from Broadway and opera. We close the season in collaboration with internationally-renowned composer Jake Runestad and the Linn-Benton Community College Chamber Choir in a concert that features Jake’s incredible and moving music. We’re very excited to have him here with us for this concert.

I would like to share a few, brief thoughts about this opening concert. Brahms wrote his “Requiem” as a “Human” requiem – as a way for everyday people to find peace with the passing of loved ones. I encourage you to read the fantastic program notes that our own Susan Wladaver-Morgan wrote in this regard (posted here previously). I believe that in today’s world, this piece goes a step further – in a time with so much sorrow and suffering – it is a piece of solace, of acceptance, of comfort, of joy and most importantly, of hope – a piece that reminds us of what it means to be human in a way that words alone cannot convey.

I was singing in CAE in the Fall of 2001, under my predecessor and mentor, Roger O’ Doyle. At the first rehearsal after the tragedy of September 11, he started off rehearsal by passing out a piece of music that was not on the concert for which we were currently rehearsing. And he simply said that it would be good for all of us to sing this…together. It was the 4th movement of Brahms’ Requiem: “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place.” And he was right.

I invite you to walk through the doors of First Congregational United Church of Christ on the evening of October 14th, leave the world outside, and experience with us some of the most beautiful, powerful, emotional and hopeful music ever written.

We look forward to having you join us this season and thank you for your continued support of CAE’s mission to bring great choral music and concert experiences to everyone.

– David De Lyser