Mass of the Children
The York College Concert Choir and the York Area Children's Choir teamed up for a remarkable cultural event that may have been unlike any other in Nebraska. Setting the bar higher than ever with the addition of a 25-piece professional orchestra, along with soloists Sue Roush and Tod Martin, the two choral groups at 116 strong performed John Rutter's Mass of the Children. This recent work by the famed British composer incorporates adult voices and the pure tones of a children's choir to create a magnificent effect.
Conductors Toni Hess (Children's Choir) and Dr. Clark Roush (York College) combined their efforts for the past few months to bring this concert together. "I feel that Mass of the Children is a significant new piece of music that needs to be shared with singers and audiences alike," said Roush a few days before the concert. "Being fortunate enough to have an exceptional children's choir in the same town, it seemed like a good artistic decision. I am most grateful for Mrs. Hess agreeing to do this, and for her hard work in preparing the children's choir. It is an absolute thrill for me to be able to offer this musical gift to the campus and community."
Mass Of The Children made its debut at Carnegie Hall in February 2003. It was Rutter's first major work in over ten years. The five movements are I. Kyrie, II. Gloria, III. Sanctus and Benedictus, IV. Agnus Dei and V. Finale. Roush said the movement back and forth between Latin and English offers a rare treat to the audience.
"This is just a marvelous work. I think it's the first time in Nebraska that it's been performed with a full orchestra.”
An anonymous donor generously provided the majority of the funds for the orchestra, keeping the ticket prices affordable at just $5 per seat.
With anticipation Roush added, “I'm hoping people will understand the magnitude of the event and that the place will be packed."
He got his wish and we were all part of something very beautiful.