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Drake Choir celebrates centennial of Diocese of DSM

You may have seen posters advertising a concert titled “Ever Ancient, Ever New.”

While this may sound contradictory and confusing, the Drake Chamber Choir will perform this concert on Saturday and Sunday. It is a concert that is ancient, new and beautiful.

This concert will celebrate the centennial of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines. The group was started over 100 years ago. The diocese has held a year long celebration for its birthday, and our choir is to be one of the final acts.

However, this concert is not only for diocese members. This concert is open to the public, and for students the cost is $5. Tickets will be available at the door and at the Drake Fine Arts Box Office.

The concert will be held at the St. Ambrose Cathedral at 607 High St. in downtown Des Moines at 7:30 p.m. However, the performance on Sunday will be at the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Atlantic, Iowa, at 4 p.m., and that concert is free.

Though there is a cost for the Saturday concert and a drive for the Sunday one, the pieces make it well worth the effort. The chamber choir will be working with the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble. It is a community-based group that focuses on chamber music.

Senior Kelly Kretschmer will have a solo for the Faure Requiem and there will also be a solo baritone from the vocal arts ensemble. There is also a small group of musicians who will be playing in this piece as well.

The highlight this concert is the pieces. The first is the Faure Requiem, which is well known in the choir world.

“It is an intimate, comforting, and fascinating piece,” said Aimee Beckmann-Collier, director of choral studies at Drake.

Written in the 19th century, this piece is a classic that has maintained popularity through they years. However, the second piece of the program is not old at all.

The diocese commissioned a piece from well-known choral composers David Dickau, who wrote “Effortlessly” for the diocese’s centennial. It features contemporary and difficult melodies and juxtaposes them against poetry from the 13th century by Mechthild of Magdeburg.

This piece is brand new and portrays  the talent here at Drake and in Des Moines. While these two pieces are the center of the concert, both choirs will also sing their own pieces as well.

This concert seems impossible, but the duo of Drake and the vocal arts ensemble has created a solution.

“The ‘Faure Requiem’ is music of remembrance,” Beckmann-Collier said. “The newly-commissioned piece helps us to look forward. Together, they will allow the audience to reflect on foundations and traditions as well as the future.”

Fast Facts

What?

Drake Chamber Choir presents

“Ever Ancient, Ever New”

When?

Saturday Oct. 8 and

Sunday Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Where?

St. Ambrose Cathedral

607 High St.

Tickets are $5 for students and can be purchased at the Drake Box Office in the Harmon Fine Arts Center

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