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Mozart’s Requiem: A conversation with John Flanery and Taylor Hightower

Leora Zeitlin

When choral director John Flanery heard Mozart’s Requiem in a concert last summer, he thought, “I need to get that back to the top of my bucket list.” The piece, he says, always has “a new emotional connection and emotional charge,” and comes from “perhaps the most perfect composer of all time.” Flanery will conduct the Requiem in a pair of concerts this weekend with the combined NMSU choirs. He and Taylor Hightower, who will sing the bass solo part in the concerts, came to KRWG to talk about the Requiem with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin. Soloists Kerrin Hightower, Sarah Daughtrey and John Carlo Pierce will join Taylor Hightower in the Requiem, and the choirs will also sing works by contemporary composers Gyorgy Orban and Arvo Part.

NMSU Choral Activities ‘Mozart and More’ concerts slated April 29 and 30

The NMSU Choral Activities 2015-2016 season will conclude on April 29 and 30 with a major works concert featuring three significant choral works. First, the Concert Choir will perform Romanian composer György Orban’s “Mass No. 2” for treble voices and piano. This short choral work for women’s voices is rhythmic, light and energetic. The University Singers with string chamber orchestra will follow with the haunting sounds of the “Berliner Messe” by living Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Pärt’s style is filled with difficult voice crossings, tight harmonic intervals and he refers to his compositional technique as “tintinnabulation.” The evening will conclude with the Statesmen, the Masterworks Chorus and the University Singers combining with orchestra in a performance of the Mozart “Requiem.” The Mozart will feature two NMSU voice faculty, Sarah Daughtrey and John Carlo Pierce, along with guest artists Kerrin Hightower and Taylor Hightower from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29 and 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in Atkinson Recital Hall in the NMSU Music Center. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. For tickets or more information, call 575-646-2067.

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