Lo­cal cho­rale pre­pares to present Faure’s ‘Re­quiem’

Three per­for­mances set dur­ing Lent

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By VIRGINIA TERHUNE vter­hune@ches­pub.com

So­prano Diane Fink of Mid­dle River re­mem­bers singing Fauré’s “Re­quiem” – the Catholic Mass for the Dead set to music – nearly 20 years ago as a mem­ber of the Dun­dalk Chris­tian Cho­rale.

“It’s an awe­some piece of music – the music is ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful,” said Fink,

who will soon per­form the piece again with the cho­rale at three dif­fer­ent churches dur­ing Lent.

“I’ve still got the old book,” said Fink, who held on to the score.

Ac­com­pa­nied by strings, or­gan and soloists, the group will per­form at Dun­dalk United Methodist Church on April 2, Orems United Methodist Church in Mid­dle River on April 4 and Perry Hall United Methodist Church on Palm Sun­day, April 9.

“A re­quiem is very ap­pro­pri­ate for the Len­ten sea­son,” said cho­rale di­rec­tor and or­gan­ist Don­ald Ap­pel, who helped start the cho­rale in 1992.

Ap­pel was the or­gan­ist at Dun­dalk United Methodist at the time, and the pas­tor’s wife, An­gel Michaud Doo­ley, a pro­fes­sional singer, had sug­gested do­ing a com­mu­nity per­for­mance of Han­del’s “Mes­siah.”

Part of Ap­pel’s role was to help re­cruit singers, so he called singers he knew at var­i­ous churches on the county’s east side.

The next year the group again per­formed the “Mes­siah,” this time with Ap­pel as di­rec­tor, and the cho­rale has been per­form­ing a va­ri­ety of music al­most ev­ery year since, in­clud­ing clas­si­cal pieces, Christ­mas car­ols, pa­tri­otic songs and Stephen Fos­ter music.

A Tow­son Univer­sity grad­u­ate who lives in Kingsville, Ap­pel taught music at North Point Ju­nior High (now the North Point Gov­ern­ment Cen­ter) for nine years in the late 1970s.

He reg­u­larly plays the or­gan at our Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in Dun­dalk on Satur­days and at Perry Hall Methodist on Sun­days, and he es­pe­cially likes the Fauré “Re­quiem.”

“It’s my fa­vorite piece of choir music, it touches me emo­tion­ally,” he said.

“It was writ­ten dur­ing the Ro­man­tic pe­riod, which I es­pe­cially love,” Ap­pel said. “It’s a lit­tle on the quiet side. The har­monies and chords … it’s al­most dream­like.”

The cho­rale will sing the dif­fer­ent se­quences of the Mass for the Dead in Latin as it was writ­ten many cen­turies ago.

“That was how it was meant to be per­formed,” he said.

How­ever, English trans­la­tions of the words will also be avail­able on a screen in the church and in the pro­gram for those who want to know the mean­ings of the words.

In­cluded in the re­quiem are the In­troit and Kyrie, Of­fer­tory, Sanc­tus, Pie Jesu, Agnus Dei, Lib­era me (the pe­ti­tion to God to be saved) that in­cludes the Dies irae (the day of wrath sec­tion), and the In Par­adisum.

A stu­dent and col­league ar­gued that Fauré re­jected the idea of a harsh and fear­ful Judg­ment Day as one ap­proached death, stress- ing in­stead the idea of “ten­der­ness, par­don and hope,” ac­cord­ing to CD notes that ac­com­pany an At­lanta Sym­phony Or­ches­tra and Cho­rus record­ing of the re­quiem made in 1985 and 1986.

Fink, who at­tends Orems United Methodist, said she started tak­ing voice lessons at age 13 in North Carolina and sang in the church choir.

Singing in Latin can be daunt­ing for some­one who is not fa­mil­iar with the lan­guage, be­cause it means learn­ing how to pro­nounce and sing the un­fa­mil­iar words, she said.

But Fink, a Na­tion­wide in­sur­ance agent who works for Young In­sur­ance and Fi­nan­cial in Es­sex, still finds time to prac­tice for hours with the cho­rale on Satur­days be­fore a con­cert.

“We all love our music,” she said about the ex­pe­ri­ence of singing that brings ev­ery­one to­gether.

She hopes the public will en­joy the per­for­mances.

“I think any­one who wants to hear some won­der­ful music needs to come to these con­certs,” she said.

Per­form­ing as a soloist will be Nor­man Smith, a mem­ber of Perry Hall Methodist Church, is a for­mer Bal­ti­more County school ad­min­is­tra­tor and Span­ish teacher who also worked at North Point Ju­nior High in the 1970s. His wife, Carolyn, grew up in Turner Sta­tion.

Also per­form­ing as a soloist will be So­nia Purol, who be­gan singing on the ra­dio when she was five.

She lived in Dun­dalk for more than 45 years, in­clud­ing time spent on Strat­man Road in West In­ver­ness, be­fore mov­ing to the Oak Crest Vil­lage re­tire­ment com­mu­nity in Car­ney.

“The high is be­ing able to do a piece of music you love, it’s an emo­tional re­ward,” said Purol about con­tin­u­ing to sing through­out her life.

And play­ing the or­gan dur­ing the con­certs will be Martha Re­quard, music di­rec­tor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Parkville.

Per­for­mances are sched­uled for:

• Sun­day, April 2, 3 p.m. – Dun­dalk United Methodist, 6903 Morn­ing­ton Rd, Dun­dalk.

• Tues­day, April 4, 7 p.m. – Orems United Methodist, 1020 Orems Road, Mid­dle River.

• Sun­day, April 9, 10 a.m. – Perry Hall United Methodist , 9515 Be­lair Rd., Not­ting­ham.

Do­na­tions are ac­cepted to help cover the costs of con­tract­ing with mu­si­cians.

PHOTO BY VIRGINIA TERHUNE

Soloist Nor­man Smith prac­tices his part in the Fauré ‘Re­quiem’ at Dun­dalk United Methodist Church. At the pi­ano is Don­ald Ap­pel, di­rec­tor of the Dun­dalk Chris­tian Cho­rale, which is pre­sent­ing the piece at three dif­fer­ent churches dur­ing Lent.

PHOTO COUR­TESY WIKIPEDIA

French or­gan­ist and com­poser Gabriel Fauré wrote his ‘Re­quiem” in the late 1880s.

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