The Beauty of the Sunrise Mass


As we near our first concert of the season, I want to take a moment to reflect on the beauty that is the “Sunrise Mass.”

Created by contemporary Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, this Mass transcends the mind and soul, and leaves us to reflect on our own lives. A quote from the composer describing his work says, “It evolves from nebulous and pristine, to more emotional and dramatic, and eventually warm and solid.” Gjeilo’s style is classic and cinematic, bridging the gap from classical to new age. His mass works perfectly to be introduced alongside the classical Mass in G by Franz Schubert, bringing past to present. I believe our audience will embrace Sunrise Mass, and it will hopefully impact and inspire our listeners to enjoy their own sunrise.


13669622_10153521001355566_3652244048543379633_nOur conductor Bill Payn took the time to express his feelings for the piece. He says,

“Human development goes through many stages throughout a lifetime. From birth we become one with the universe and the earth which we inhabit. Sunrise Mass takes the listener on a journey through time and space, an unknown region which eventually settles and becomes grounded through daily interaction and meaningful relationships without boundaries.
The work combines emotional,dramatic moments with more pristine, transparent expressions. It takes us through the passages of life and musically goes to the very core of our being.”

Music has the power to inspire and heal, and I am thrilled that the Susquehanna Valley Chorale will bring this piece to life with the rich vocals of our soloists and the harmonious tones that make our beautiful chorale. I hope you will join us to celebrate a new generation of classical music!

Symphonic Masses: Past and Present will take place on Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 16 at 3 p.m. at Midd-West High School Auditorium, 540 East Main Street in Middleburg. Patrons should note the change in location due to the large number of SVC singers participating in the performance. The acoustics of this newly renovated and spacious auditorium are of the highest quality and the venue offers ample seating capacity in addition to a large, easily accessible parking lot.


The performance will feature almost 100 SVC singers including three local soloists: Amy Caron, soprano; Adam Dietz, tenor; and Andrew Finck, bass. They will be joined by a 24-piece string orchestra.

The Sponsor for the performance is the Walnut Acres Foundation and Jean and Bob Hormell are Co-Sponsors. Underwriters include Lois and Tom Clark, Nancy and Sam Craig, Kessey Kieselhorst, and Raven and Marvin Rudnitsky.



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