Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our 64th Anniversary Concert includes Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace and will be performed with a full-length film as a backdrop.

So what is this piece all about?

It was created to remind all of us about the horrors of war and how destructive war is to everyone.  During the writing of the music, the war in Kosovo was unfolding so the music is dedicated to the victims of Kosovo.  It was first performed on September 10, 2001 - the day BEFORE 911.  It includes 13 pieces of music beginning with L'Homme arme' (The Armed Man) where you'll hear a marching army and the beat of military drums with the chorus singing in French a tune from the 15th century.  As the composition moves from one piece to the next you will see and hear the preparation for war, the battles themselves, and the action that takes place after war has ended and healing has begun.

Singing City Music Director Jeff Brillhart has been educating us week after week about the history of this piece, why it was written, and why singing this is an important thing for us to do.  Singing and music are beautiful, but there are times when we all need to take a stand for what we believe in.  There still is too much violence on the Earth, including in the homes and communities that we all live in. 

Here are links to three of the pieces "The Armed Man" as conducted by Karl Jenkins, himself.  Take a few minutes to listen (and watch) to get an appreciation for the power of this work.

1. The Armed Man:

5. Sanctus:

12. Benedictus:

But one word of caution.  This really is not entertainment.  it is a highly enriched experience that you will feel in your heart, mind, and soul.  When we sing this piece we will be accompanied by organ and orchestra and behind us will be the "silent movie" that was created a few years after the piece was written.  The scenes in the film depict the different stages of war and is pretty powerful.  

This concert will be performed at:

Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts
William Penn Charter School
3000 West School House Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19144

Sunday, May 13th at 4:00 pm

Tickets are available through the Singing City online box office or by calling 215-569-9067.