The concerts are free and open to the public, but tickets are required, available at bit.ly/oacbates. For more information, contact 207-786-6163 or [email protected]

The choir will sing Haydn’s “Missa in Angustiis,” better known as the “Lord Nelson Mass,” and “Missa Brevis for the Virgin of Guadalupe,” a piece by Scott Ordway, conductor of the Bates College Orchestra and visiting assistant professor of music.

One of six masses that Haydn wrote toward the end of his life, and one of 14 in all that he composed, the 1798 “Missa in Angustiis” is considered one of his greatest works. “If the students should learn one Haydn mass as part of their choral education,” said Corrie, “then it should be this one.”

“Missa in Angustiis” is Latin for “Mass for Troubled Times.” Haydn, an Austrian, completed the piece as the armies of Napoleon made his nation extremely vulnerable — yet a mere six weeks before the work’s debut in September 1798, the British under Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated the French emperor in the Battle of the Nile, leading to the nickname of the mass.

Ordway was inspired to compose his 2010 “Missa Brevis for the Virgin of Guadalupe” by a research trip to Mexico City when he was a Benjamin Franklin doctoral fellow in the University of Pennsylvania music department.

The mass, he told The Penn Current, is an exploration of the complexity he found in Mexico City, which in his experience was a place of “warmth, beauty, and friendship amidst a backdrop of violence and tragedy.”


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