CORVALLIS - The Corvallis Repertory Singers will perform "From Despair to Victory: Music in Search of Hope" on Sunday, Feb. 4. The concert begins at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1165 N.W. Monroe Ave. in Corvallis.
The choral concert will be directed by Steven Zielke, director of choral studies at Oregon State University.
The concert will focus on music that reflects the transformation of hopelessness into triumph. The centerpiece of the program will be Franz Joseph Haydn's "Lord Nelson Mass." Composed in 1798 during an especially intense juncture in the Napoleonic Wars, Haydn named the mass "Missa in angustis" (Mass in Frightened Times). Following the triumph of Lord Nelson's victory over Napoleon, all of Austria rejoiced, including Haydn (reportedly an avid follower of the conflict), who dedicated the mass to Lord Nelson.
The choir will perform the work with chamber orchestra and soloists selected from the Corvallis areas, including Betty Busch, Jerry Bowman, Peter Gysegem, Peter Butler, Shirley King, Cindy Gerig, and Pat Megowan.
The second half of the program features Randall Thompson's "Peaceable Kingdom." Composed in 1935, the a cappella work was based on Edward Hicks' painting of the same name, which features the lamb lying down with the lion. The work begins with conflict between evil and good and builds in intensity, until the final chorus "Ye Shall Have a Song" details the triumph of good. The work represents one of Thompson's most enduring and significant contributions to American music.
Zielke is the founder and music director of the 26-member Corvallis Repertory Singers. The group was founded this past fall with the goal of providing professional level choral performances. Many of the members are professional conductors, church musicians, and voice teachers.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for OSU students with ID. Tickets are available at Rice's Pharmacy, Gracewinds Music, and the OSU Department of Music. Call 541-737-4061 for more information.