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Singers raise voices together

Mozart may have died writing his Requiem 250 years ago, but more than 110 singers and a 35-piece orchestra will help his music come to life this weekend.Music director Ray Vincent Adams and the Aspen and Glenwood Springs Choral Society present their spring concert 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Harris Concert Hall in Aspen. The concert opens with Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and finishes with Requiem.”Requiem is quintessential Mozart. He died while he was writing it, and one of his students finished it,” said Adams, who has directed the choral society for 27 years. “The music has taken on a life of its own.”Adams said Sinfonia Concertante represents Mozart’s “bubbly side,” with four choral singers and four instruments: oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn.”This kind of concert is what you would find in a big city,” he said. “This performance is a rare opportunity. I want this to be available to everyone – it’s an Aspen experience for a lot less than the typical Aspen experience.”More than 50 Glenwood Springs singers will join singers from Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt, and Carbondale to participate in the concert.”Our Glenwood Springs singers are kind of like our backbone,” Adams said. “After 27 years, I’ve never bought into that upvalley-downvalley syndrome. We’re all doing this together, and this concert is a testament to why we live here.”Patti Christensen, a soprano from the Glenwood Springs Community Choir, said she is always impressed at how well the different choirs meld for Aspen performances.”A concert like this takes a lot of practice,” said Christensen, who has been singing with the choral society for five years. “When we come together, we all know the music, dynamics, and diction.”Bob Millette, of Glenwood Springs, who sings bass, credits Adams’ enthusiastic direction for his concerts’ successes.”We have varying levels of talent, but Ray brings out the best in everybody,” he said. “It’s so exciting singing with the orchestra. It just blows me away.”Along with working with Adams, Christensen said she is looking forward to the concert’s music and venue.”Requiem is a beautiful piece and I love to sing in Latin. It’s so appropriate for the weekend because it’s Easter,” she said. “Also, Harris is a professional concert hall that is intimidating the first time, but a kick after.”As a member of the Friends of the Performing Arts, Christensen hopes Glenwood Springs will one day boast a venue like Harris Hall.”So many of us live down here and we are all volunteers,” she said. “We’re hoping for the support of the community if people would just make the drive.”Tickets are $20 and available at the Wheeler Box Office at 920-5770.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com


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