The second event of the Vail Series season brought the highly acclaimed Munich Symphony Orchestra and Gloriae Dei Cantores, a world class concert choir, to Swasey Chapel last night, along with Denison’s own Chamber Singers, for an evening of exquisite music.
Conductor Phillipe Entremont and the orchestra presented Verklärte Nacht, op4 (Transfigured Night) by Arnold Schoenberg, for the first half of the program. The second part of the evening belonged to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His Requiem in D Minor—at once spiritual and dramatic and filled with musical moments of anger, compassion and worship—is a challenging work for both orchestras and choral groups. And it came off swimmingly.
Denison’s 27 Chamber Singers, mentored by Director of Choral Activities Wei Cheng, began learning the Requiem music last spring. The group has assembled for 90-minute rehearsals twice each week all fall, working hard to be ready for the opportunity to sing with the Munich Symphony Orchestra and Gloriae Dei Cantores under Entremont’s direction.
Marissa Ortiz, a senior alto and music major from Clarkson, Mich., observed, “The music department and the Vail Series are two of my favorite things about Denison. Over the last three years, I’ve enjoyed not only exposure to exceptionally talented performers, but also an education that invites me to dig into the nuts and bolts of what makes music work.”
Fellow senior Kate Yoder, a soprano and psychology major from Dublin, Ohio, concurred. “I love to pursue the things here at Denison that give me a different experience than the typical college student would have. This particular concert offers me the chance to share the stage with the best of the best, and I am truly grateful. I couldn’t be more thankful for the time I’ve have spent with this ensemble. From performances on the Great Wall of China two summers ago to now performing with the Munich Symphony, we’ve all been lucky to be part of things most other singers haven’t.”
Alto Madeleine Oulevey, a sophomore from Arnoldsville, Ga., who first heard the Munich Symphony Orchestra on her iPad, summed it all up by saying, “To be part of this night is a dream.”