All Souls Day Requiem Concert offered Thursday at Holy Family Catholic Church in Thayne
• The program features pieces that honor and reverence departed loved ones. Admission is free.
In honor of All Souls Day, seven local musicians are presenting a Requiem Concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 2 in the Holy Family Catholic Church at 78 Friesian Circle.
“This project started because we noted that there has been significant grief and loss in Star Valley this past year,” said Pauline Zeren, an event organizer, in an interview with SVI Media last week. “As musicians, we wanted to acknowledge that shared experience, and had the idea of offering a musical event to the whole community. Our ensemble is composed of musicians from throughout the community who have generously volunteered their time, and we selected lyrics and texts that have traditionally been used to honor and remember loved ones, many of which are the settings of some of the greatest classical music of all time.”
Featuring music that spans 1,000 years of liturgical history, the concert offers selections of Gregorian chant and polyphonic choral pieces from the Catholic mass. Chant is composed of a single melody sung together by a group of people, and polyphony is the singing of several independent melodies, interwoven into one harmonic whole. Chant and medieval polyphony served as the foundation for Renaissance and Classical music, which contribute substantially to the musical culture of our day.
“This music has contributed so much to our culture through [the works of great composers like Bach, Mozart and Verdi] that it has shaped even our English language despite it being in Latin,” shared Isaiah Ceccarelli, who created the program. “Besides the aspect of solace and comfort that Pauline described so well, I think this concert will appeal to anyone interested in history or geography. The music we’ll perform was composed for specific locations, such as the Vatican in Rome, monasteries in Switzerland and France, the Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame in Paris, and even St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.”
According to Ceccarelli, the sacred text of the music comes mostly from Psalms, but also from the Book of Job, the Book of Revelation, and other books from the Bible. Though most of the music texts are in Latin and Greek, English translations will be available for guests to find meaning in the messages of the music.
“For new listeners who might be unfamiliar with this repertoire, they will love the crystalline harmonies of this music presented in the resonant space for which they were intended, a church,” said Ceccarelli. “This music is perfect for reflection, meditation, remembrance, and makes for an extremely satisfying listening experience! I think everyone can appreciate this kind of unaccompanied choral music, no matter their favorite style or how much they know about it.”
Admission to the concert is free and everyone is invited. Donations, which will help support future events of this kind, are welcome.
“I hope everyone will find some solace,” shared Zeren, who feels deeply for this community, which has experienced great loss this year. “We want to provide an opportunity to intentionally unplug, rest, and meditate, and I think any student of music will find a melody or a text that they recognize! Our hope is that this is an opportunity for the community to come together to honor our friends and loved ones. We invite everyone to join us, especially anyone seeking solace in these trying times.”
Ceccarelli, a chant enthusiast, feels guests will experience something wonderful by attending. “I encourage everyone to come out to hear some beautiful, timeless music, to encourage local artists, to enjoy a cozy evening as we head towards winter, and to enjoy some fellowship with your fellow citizens of Star Valley. We’ll have some snacks and refreshments after the concert, so please stick around and say ‘Hello!’”