The Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra presents Italian Choral Works on March 16. Pictured is the trumpet section featuring Mark Pederson and Lucas Hall.

Italian Choral Works in the CMO spotlight

The Handel Music Society are the special guests on March 16 in the Chilliwack Cultural Society.

Chillwack Metropolitan Orchestra and Youth Orchestra are ready to present their first major concert with a choral ensemble under the baton of Maestro Johan Louwershiemer.

The Handel Music Society are the special guests on March 16 for the Italian Choral Works concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, offering a rare performance of Puccini’s Messa di Gloria.

“We are pleased to present this lovely choral work with the wonderful acoustics in the Cultural Centre,” said Anne Fleming, CMO spokesperson and member.

Puccini wrote the piece in 1880 as a graduation exercise but it lay dormant for 70 years after its premier performance. A full Mass rather than a Messa di Gloria, it is written for orchestra, four-part choir and male soloists.

“Some of the themes will be recognizable to opera goers, as Puccini later borrowed from the Mass for later operatic works such as Manon Lescault.”

The concert will showcase a number of Italian choral works by Rossini and Verdi, as well as Puccini.

Performing solos during the concert will be bass baritone Andrew Greenwood and tenor Christopher Simmons, both well known to Lower Mainland and international audiences.

Also under the Artistic Directorship of Maestro Louwershiemer, the Handel Society of Music Choir has been performing in the lower Mainland since 1966.

“This is the CMO’s first choral concert and we are looking forward to this collaborative concert. It is especially exciting as we have an Artistic Director in common and he is known for working with both choral and instrumental groups,” Fleming said.

The choir was founded by Maestro Karle Ten Hoope for Canada’s Centennial celebrations.

Maestro Ten Hoope retired, after 29 years, in 1995 the choir directorship was then assumed by Louwershiemer.

The choir is very active in supporting young musicians and the CMYO Senior Chamber Group have performed Handel’s Messiah and the Mozart Requiem with the choir in White Rock and Mission.

The trumpet section features Mark Pederson, and Lucas Hall.

Pederson, 15, started playing trumpet when he was only 11.

He is aiming to one day be a member of a professional orchestra, which he describes as one of the few cultural institutions to “prolong the spirit on indispensable artistic values.”

In addition to trumpet, he also plays piano.

“I have sung in choirs, and on occasion, compose my own music.”

“I am currently studying trumpet with Tom Shorthouse, principal trumpet of the Vancouver Opera and instructor at Kwantlen University.”

CMO/YO Italian Choral Works Concert, March 16, $25/$15 students at the Box Office, 604-391-SHOW (7469).

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