The inaugural performance of Key West’s Masterwork Oratorio Chorale will take place at 4 p.m., Sunday, February 28, 2016 at the Key West United Methodist Church. The first presentation of this new, invitation/audition group of singers will be the magnificent Mozart Mass in C Minor, an exciting blend of baroque and romantic styles with lush choruses and soaring solos.
“There is a growing group of vocalists and audience members in Key West and surrounding communities who enjoy the classical vocal works of the master composers,” observed Dean Walters, artistic director of the new Chorale. “The beauty of the organ and exquisite acoustics at the Key West United Methodist Church make this the perfect venue.”
Walters has had a distinguished career as both a singer and conductor, and has been the church choir director for 20 years. An accomplished ensemble will accompany the group, including church organist Jim Cutty, Vincent Zito on piano, Donna DeForrest on flute, and Dave Parker on percussion. Masterwork Chorale members performing solo, duet, trio and quartet sections are Ginny Barr, Melody Cooper, Tim Peterson, Stan Sack, Barbara Staffen, Brian Wagstaff, and Sandy Walters.
“This Mass has not been as commonly performed as other Mozart works, and as far as we have been able to determine this is its first presentation in Key West. The Chorale members have worked diligently to learn the creative twists and turns of this stirring piece,” said Walters.
Mozart was encouraged by his father to compose a great mass, and worked on the piece during the years of 1782 and 1783. However, similar to his Requiem, the piece was never completed. During his life the one performance included earlier sections to fill in gaps, which was a common practice at the time. In 1901, composer Alois Schmitt masterfully reconstructed the mass in the format being presented.
This inaugural performance of the Masterwork Oratorio Chorale is being presented on a donation basis, with all proceeds collected at the concert to provide funds for two causes—maintenance of and improvements to the church’s outstanding pipe organ, and the church’s 19th annual Relay for Life program.