Community Choir Spring Concert Held At Kirk Chapel

Community Choir 2023

The Community Choir Spring Concert, held April 21 at the (Prairie) Kirk Chapel, in Three Hills, was advertised as “Prairie College presents For the Glory of God MAJESTY”

Choir Director Humberto Vargas, emphasized that it was a Christian Concert and invited all to join in praise and worship. Although none of the pieces were any songs heard before by the audience they did have the chance to either give applause to God or join in rhythmic clapping on a couple of occasions.

The first portion was from a composition by Welsh Composer Sir Karl Jenkins called “Gloria”. It included “The Exaltation Domine Deus” and “The Prayer: Laudamuste” both in Latin and then “Tehillim- Psalm 150” in Hebrew, the latter featuring soloist Talita Louzada.

The second portion was selections from Robert Ray’s 1978 composition called the “Gospel Mass”.

One reference to Mr. Ray’s work that he thought was for a single performance, says:

“To his surprise, the piece caught on and became a seminal work of African-American music, performed by choirs and churches all over the world. There’s no doubt in Ray’s mind that God played a role in the writing of his now famous Mass, which sets the words from the Catholic Mass to the rhythm and harmony of African-American music.” (Mr. Ray passed away in December 2022,)

Here the titles of the numbers were given in Latin: ie. Kyrie, Gloria, Creedo, (Acclamation) Sanctus and Agnus Dei, but sung in English. (It has been 59 years since I studied Latin but recognized the terms from church services.)

Renae Brown, Joshua Louwerse, and Riley Gramlich were soloists for some of these presentations.

The Choir, instrumentalists, technical crew and ushers numbered over 50 and included Prairie students and community participants.

Rebekah Brisbin, (piano), Christopher Pompetti (Drums), Graciela Ruvalcaba (Percussions), and David Robinson (Electric Bass Guitar) contributed to what I concluded to be some very “unusual” and difficult accompaniments.

A closing prayer, more applause for God, and a standing ovation ended the concert.