KSU Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Singers collaborate for special performance
Concert will commemorate the attacks of September 11, 2001
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Michael Alexander conducts the
KSU Symphony Orchestra
KENNESAW, Ga. (August 28, 2013) —In times of tragedy and loss, the immense power of music can be felt more intensely and poignantly than ever. After the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, many turned to music for healing. The KSU Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Singers will commemorate the date with a special concert on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.
The concert will feature both the KSU Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Alexander, director of orchestras and interim director of the School of Music, and the KSU Chamber Singers, conducted by Leslie J. Blackwell, director of choral activities. They will be performing with special guests the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, conducted by Bryan Black, and soloists Leah Partridge, soprano, and Jason Hardy, bass. “It is always a powerful experience to collaborate in music, and this is a massive collaboration,” says Alexander. “It will hopefully galvanize the School of Music to begin our year with a strong artistic statement.”
The concert program will feature Cantus in Memoriam of Benjamin Britten by Arvo Pärt, blue cathedral by Jennifer Higdon and German Requiem by Johannes Brahms. All of the pieces were selected because of their commemorative nature. “Music can serve so many purposes,” Alexander explains. “In this case, it is comfort for the living to remember those who have passed. All of these pieces share that common theme, but each composer has a very different language to express it.”
Brahms’ German Requiem has played the role of healing before, when it was featured in the New York Philharmonic’s September 20, 2001, memorial concert. “The text of Brahms’ Requiem are words of solace and spiritual harmony reflecting a concern for the comfort of those still living and grieving,” Blackwell explains. “It stands as a testament to the human spirit, expressing compassion, comfort, grace and beauty within the context of profound loss, and I cannot think of a more eloquent tribute to honor September 11.”
The program of the Philharmonic’s 2001 concert was changed to reflect the tragedies that had occurred only 9 days prior, and it became a benefit for the families of first responders who had died on duty. Described as “a consoling and magnificent performance,” the concert was also broadcast nationwide on PBS.
“I vividly remember the broadcast of this performance,” Alexander says. “It felt to me like the first human reaction we had to the event, and I remember the emotion the orchestra played with and the consolation it gave me to hear this music at a time of such sadness.” The Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Singers’ upcoming performance will no doubt provide that same sense of comfort and healing.
The concert will be held on Wednesday, September 11 at 8 p.m. in Morgan Hall of the Bailey Performance Center. Tickets are $10, with discounts available for KSU personnel, seniors and military. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the box office online or call 770-423-6650.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.