By Julius Brown
On Saturday, March 18 in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Sacred Heart University’s Choral Program presented their Masterworks Concert.
They performed “Cantique de Jean Racine,” the famous “Requiem” by Gabriel Fauré. According to BBC Music, the work celebrates the life of his late father, who died three years before he began working on the piece in 1885.
The chapel was full the evening of the concert by the Sacred Heart community, friends and family.
The concert combined various instruments behind the vocal performances.
“It definitely felt good to have strings behind me, it’s awesome,” said freshman choir soloist Bobby Gestrich.
The entire choir and orchestra put in a lot of hard work to learn and perform the pieces.
“I thought it was amazing to pull off,” said junior choir member Cory Robinson. “Just taking on all these different pieces like this and to push ourselves, it just shows a lot about our program.”
According to Classic FM, despite being a work centered around the nature of death, Fauré’s “Requiem” has a peaceful, somber melody.
“The message is so powerful. The celebration of life resonates through the music,” said sophomore Sarah Riccio. “We worked a long time on this and I am happy to share this with my peers.”
The “Requiem” includes many different sections that the choral program put a lot of time into preparing.
“I am so proud of everyone who was involved, I thought we did an amazing job from preparation to rehearsal and then to finally perform in front of an audience, it felt really good,” said sophomore choir member Stephanie Doheny.
The solo portions of Faure’s “Requiem” demanded a lot of synchronization with the composer as well as the orchestra. Gestrich welcomed the challenge to be one of the soloists for the concert.
“I actually worked really hard to be able to perform the solo,” said Gestrich. “It really means a lot to me to earn this opportunity.”
Many audience members enjoyed the performance.
“They sounded so soft and delicate to the ear. I honestly was afraid to move in my seat because I thought I would disrupt the calm vibe,” said senior Justin Calitro.
This was the attitude of most of the audience members listening to the Choral Masterworks.
At the conclusion of the concert, the audience gave everyone involved a standing ovation.
“Standing in front of that crowd gave me chills,” said Doheny. “It’s kind of intimidating at first but once all your emotions settle in, focus and preparation is key.”