‘Requiem’ Performance by the Sun Lakes Community Choir

Yvonne Orlich, Publicity

For a couple of months, a group of singers from various local churches and the Sun Lakes Chorale gathered every Wednesday afternoon to rehearse for a special concert. The concert was the brainchild of Cristine Evans who directs the Sun Lakes Chorale and the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church Choir. Cris is a master at directing, so her idea to present this concert was readily accepted by a group of singers from various local churches and the Sun Lakes Chorale.

The sole piece for the April 24 concert was a selection made by Cris: Requiem, by John Rutter. Requiem was composed in 1985 in memory of John Rutter’s late father and is made up of seven movements, which include Latin Requiem Mass text, Psalms 130 and 23, “Pie Jesu,” which features a soprano solo, and other movements. The piece has varying tempos, from slow and solemn to slow and flowing. It was a difficult piece, but under Cris’ tutelage, the 30-plus singers gained confidence in their ability to perform this marvelous piece. It is a well-known composition and covers a wide range of musical challenges. It also contains many parts sung only in Latin, which was another challenge for some of us, but with the help of Bart Evans, we mastered the pronunciations and learned the translations, which helped to enhance the projection of emotions throughout the piece.

The choir was accompanied by a small chamber ensemble with the following instrumentalists: Vicki Deken, flute; Pam Hahn, harp; Elliot Yang, cello; Caroline Brown, organ; Loretta Jones, timpani; Charles Jennings, bells; and Staci Schaible, oboe. The soloist was an accomplished young woman with a powerful, melodic voice, Monika Landi, a former student of Cris Evans.

Cris Evans once again outdid herself with this production. A good-size audience was in attendance, and the response was warm and exuberant. Many attendees expressed their appreciation for having the opportunity to attend something a little more “classical.” Those in attendance and those who participated are anxious to participate in another similar concert in the not-too-distant future. And we are fairly certain that, with a little coaxing, Cris Evans can be convinced to find another fine piece of music such as Requiem to teach and to schedule another fine concert.

Thank you to all who made the weekly sacrifice to attend practices, to Cris and Bart Evans for their musical instruction and patience, to Mary Sievert for accompanying us at all the rehearsals, to the outstanding instrumentalists mentioned above who made this a glorious presentation, and to the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church for promoting and supporting this effort.