For Immediate Release (October 31, 2019):
Contact: Judy Corwin, 541-760-2787, firstname.lastname@example.org
Artistic Director: Steven Zielke, Oregon State University
Karl Jenkins’ “The Peacemakers” offers messages of peace from world figures in West Coast Premiere by Corvallis Repertory Singers.
MEDIA NOTE: Conductor Steven Zielke will present a pre-concert talk about The Peacemakers, in the First United Methodist Church sanctuary, 45 minutes prior to each concert. The talk is open to any individual with a concert ticket.
CORVALLIS, OR— Peace. Pax. Paix. Pace. Shalom. Salam. Shlamah. Selam. In how many ways can the idea of peace be shared?
In The Peacemakers by 21st-century composer Karl Jenkins, text will be sung by the Corvallis Repertory Singers in more than 20 languages while sharing messages written by iconic historic figures. The performance of this 2011 piece that was first sung in Carnegie Hall is a West Coast premiere for the mid-Willamette Valley. Concerts are Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church.
Ticket outlets for this production are Grass Roots Books, Troubadour Music Center, and Susan’s Garden & Coffee Shop (formerly Schmidt’s Garden Center) in Corvallis; and Sid Stevens Jewelers in Albany. You may also buy them online at www.repsing.org.
“The Peacemakers is dedicated to the memory of all those who lost their lives during armed conflict, in particular innocent civilians,” writes Composer Jenkins in his preface to the musical score. In addition, the work quotes the Bible, the Qur’an, the Hebrew Scriptures, and St. Seraphim of Sarov. St. Francis of Assisi’s “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” are highlighted into full movements of music.
CRS Artistic Director Steven Zielke explained that Jenkins’ work fulfills two CRS’ goals –performing a premiere composition by a noted modern composer and the message of peace in our world. “This work is almost a requiem for those people who have died in war.… especially people who are innocent victims of war — children, civilians, and people who are caught in the violence by no fault of their own.
That message of peace is one of the reasons two local Rotary Clubs — Corvallis and Greater Corvallis — have contributed to support the $11,000 cost to bring this work to the community. One of Rotary’s world focus is efforts toward “international peace,” and Oregon State University hosts one of the Rotary Peace and Diplomacy Centers for water scholars.
“Perhaps the central aspect of this work is the text, which is the real key ingredient” said Zielke. “These are the words of Ghandi, of Martin Luther King, of Mother Teresa, of Rumi, of Anne Frank — this all-star list of the greatest writers ever who have contributed to thoughts and words about peace. And the music reflects the words of these people. The words do not reflect the music of Karl Jenkins. That is what he set out to do is to take these incredible authors, poets, and thinkers who have thought and written and spoken about peace and put it to music.”
Zielke added: “Terri Waite, the English humanitarian and author from the Anglican church who is one of the authors who contributed words to the composition wrote, and I think this is really perfect, ‘Music has the capacity to breathe harmony into the soul. The Peacemakers breathes the harmony of peace.’”
The CRS performance will include a group of high school students who will sing the “children’s” chorus part. Corvallis High School choral director Leah Tomlin has helped prepare these students. Another Oregon State graduate and choral member, Steven Evans-Renteria, is helping singers with the pronunciations of all the different languages. He reviews the foreign spellings and drills the pronunciations at each rehearsal.
Associate Choral Director Sandra Babb and Accompanist Nikki Zielke are working with soloists and section rehearsals, along with Bryce Tomlin (tenors), Madi Zuro (sopranos) and Emanuel McGladrey (basses).
“We are so blessed in this community with talented musicians, and we need it for this huge piece. It’s 17 movements for choir and orchestra” said Zielke.
About Karl Jenkins: Karl Jenkins is now the most performed living composer in the world. His recorded output has resulted in 17 gold and platinum discs, while his The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace has received almost a thousand performances in the decade since its premiere in 2000. Jenkins’ recent recordings include Requiem, Stabat Mater, Quirk, and Stella Natalis. He has composed music for the Prince of Wales, Kiri Te Kanawa, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has consistently been the highest-placed living composer in Classic FM’s Hall of Fame and was awarded a CBE by Her Majesty the Queen in 2010.
About CRS: Founded in 2000, the Corvallis Repertory Singers includes nearly 50 area singers, many have studied voice or are professional singers. In addition to Zielke, Raymund Ocampo serves as associate conductor. The group has been recognized for artistic achievement with funds from the Fred W. Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation; the Oregon Arts Commission, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and by the Benton County Cultural Coalition, with funds provided by the Oregon Cultural Trust. CRS is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Corvallis and the Rotary Club of Greater Corvallis.