UMF Community Chorus and Orchestra to present 'A German Requiem'

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FARMINGTON — The UMF Community Chorus and Orchestra, under the direction of Bruce McInnes, will present a performance of  “A German Requiem,” by Johannes Brahms, at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 29, in Nordica Auditorium in UMF Merrill Hall. 

With many symphonies and orchestras presenting concerts on the same day, Professor McInnes looked to local communities as he gathered an orchestra for this concert. He emphasizes the real community nature of this performance with a chorus made up of students, faculty and staff at UMF and members of the public from Farmington, Wilton, Weld, Temple, Phillips, Strong, Vienna and other villages in the greater Farmington area.

Brahms himself prepared a two piano accompaniment for his Requiem. The regular accompanist of the chorus, Patricia Hayden, will be joined by Robert Ludwig, director of the Bangor Children’s Chorus and a resident of Rangeley, on the second piano part. 

The essential timpani part as well as the ethereal wind parts and commanding brass will be played by teachers and gifted students from area high schools, including Mt. Blue, Messalonski and Livermore Falls. String players from the Farmington area along with some visitors from Boston will play the low string parts that Brahms composed.

Brahms was only 34 when he composed Ein Deutsches Requiemwhich is his longest work and the one which helped to establish his reputation as a major composer. He chose to set carefully selected portions of scripture in the vernacular rather than the traditional Latin texts of the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead. This was, at least in part, so that the audience would understand what was being sung, which, likewise, is the hope today by presenting the performance in English.

Admission is $8, $6 for seniors. Tickets are available at the door.

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