Local choir to perform in new catholic church

Visalia Community Chorus performs Duruflé’s Requiem op. 9, a Gregorian Chant based piece, in the new St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church

VISALIA – Tickets are now on sale for a local choral group who will bring the community together with history in music to the beautiful new Catholic Church.

The Visalia Community Chorus (VCC) will be performing the Requiem by Maurice Duruflé on April 30 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. College of the Sequoias Concert Choir will be performing alongside VCC as well. This performance will be the first major choral work to be performed at the new church on Akers Street in Visalia. Tickets are on sale now for $15 or $20 for preferred seating, and $2 from each ticket will be donated back to the church.

“[This performance] is a big deal just in that it’s a beautiful brand new venue, the biggest group we’ve ever had and a wonderful chamber orchestra with some fantastic local musicians,” VCC’s choir administrator said.

This will be one of VCC’s largest performances as there will be 140 individuals singing with live music alongside them from about a dozen musicians. John Sorber has been the creative director for VCC for the past 15 years and he will be conducting this show as well. This year, because of the size of the choir, it has allowed for VCC to have their first ever chamber choir. A chamber choir is made of more advanced singers from all four parts, alto, soprano, bases and tenors, creating a group of 20 individuals. The VCC’s chamber choir is called Voces Limine which is latin for voices of light, and they will be making their premier performance at the upcoming event.

Duruflé’s Requiem op. 9 is a powerful and difficult piece to sing and VCC has been practicing since January. The piece was composed by Maurice Durufle in the early 1940s, but was first performed on the west coast by Paul Salamunovich in 1967. According to Kelsey Low, VCC’s communications director, the Requiem was inspired by Gregorian Chant and the music mirrors what the words are saying.

“The Duruflé Requiem in the choir community is a challenging and coveted piece of music, because it’s so moving and so beautiful, even eerie at times,” Low said. “It is just a beautiful piece.”

The VCC has been around since the 1970’s and people from all walks of life are invited to join. This year they will have Trent Barry playing the organ for the concert as well as several other talented musicians. According to a press release from VCC, the group is excited to bring the music to life and be a part of the opening of the beautiful and architecturally creative church.

Salamunovich prepared the St. Charles Borromeo Choir for the first performance of the Requiem in Hollywood. He was a master of Gregorian Chant and therefore was noted for his insight into chant based works such as Durufle’s Requiem. Durufle was invited to conduct for the 1967 premiere and did in fact attend and direct next to Salamunovich.

Tickets for the show are available online at  https://cos.ticketleap.com/durufle-requiem/ or visit VCC’s website at https://www.visaliacommunitychorus.org.

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