Performances in 2017

USAFE Band Christmas Concert
Time: December 8, 2017, 8pm
Location: Fruchthalle, Fruchthallstraße 10, 67655 Kaiserslautern
Fruchthalle

It was a great pleasure to participate in the yearly Christmas Concert of the USAFE Band! In addition to Christmas carols such as Carol of the Bells, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day and Kling, Glöckchen, we presented the part O Man Greatly Beloved from the cantata Dona nobis pacem by R. Vaughan Williams - a little preview of our concert program planned for June 2018.

Reiner Henn writes in his concert review appearing in the Rheinpfalz newspaper on December 11, 2018:

But also the Rheinland-Pfalz international Choir under the direction of Justin Lewis reached the top level on this remarkable evening. Whether it was in the “Carols of the Bells” or in the excerpt of “Dona nobis pacem” by Ralph Vaughan Williams – with its pure vocal culture and its homogeneous sound and expressivity, this body of sound was able to highly recommend itself for future tasks of this kind.

Fruchthalle

A German Requiem - Johannes Brahms
Time: 26. November 2017, 5pm
Location: Fruchthalle, Fruchthallstraße 10, 67655 Kaiserslautern

Poster

(Foto: Lars Kilian)

Poster

(Foto: Karin Hoffmann)

Three well-established ensembles of the Kaiserslautern region - the Classical Choir of the TU Kaiserslautern, the Rheinland-Pfalz International Choir and the Symphony Orchestra of the District of Kaiserslautern - together with two renowned soloists: Antonietta Jana (Soprano) and Alexis Wagner (Baritone) had teamed up under the direction of Berthold Kliewer to perform one of the greatest choir-orchestra works of the 19th century. A German Requiem sparked the international breakthrough of the young composer Johannes Brahms. Since then, it is one of the most frequently performed works of sacred choral music world-wide.

The concert in the sold-out Fruchthalle started with the Symphony Nr. 7, b-minor (The Unfinished Symphony) by Franz Schubert, performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the District of Kaiserslautern. After an intermission, the Brahms-Requiem was performed. With many joint rehearsals, both choirs had prepared themselves for this concert and were rewarded for their successful performance with long, enthusiastic applause by the audience.

Poster

(Foto: Lars Kilian)

Over the Rainbow - Songs of Joy and Hope
Time: 03. June 2017, 5pm
Location: Pauluskirche, Hahnenbalz 38, 67663 Kaiserslautern
Time: 04. June 2017, 5pm
Location: Gustav-Adolf-Kirche, Erzhütterstraße 68, 67659 Kaiserslautern
Erzhütten

Our June 2017 program contained songs and arrangements by Ernani Aguiar, Lajos Bádos, Aaron Copland, William L. Dawson, Georg Friedrich Händel, Mark Hayes, Felix Mendelssohn, Joseph Rheinberger, Russel Robinson, John Rutter, Franz Schubert, Sir John Stainer, and Robert Schumann. The program selection, preparation of the choir and concert direction was performed by our associate director Mandy Moreno, because our director Justin Lewis had to be out of the country for a longer period of time.

Poster

In his concert report for the Pauluskirche concert in the Rheinpfalz Edition of June 6th, Andreas Keller wrote:

“In more than one way, the choir left a positive impression. Strongly directed by deputy director Mandy Moreno and accompanied with emotion by Pianist Lothar Bendel, the choir consistently demonstrated clear expression as well as technical security even during exceptionally challenging parts.”

The complete program order was as follows:

  • Lebenslust - Franz Schubert
  • Der erste Frühlingstag - Felix Mendelssohn
  • Abendlied - Josef Rheinberger
  • Zigeunerleben - Robert Schumann
  • Ain’-A That Good News! - Arr. William L. Dawson
  • My Lord, What a Mornin’ - Spiritual, Arr.: Russell Robinson
  • For the Beauty of the Earth - John Rutter
  • God so Loved the World - Sir John Stainer
  • Hallelujah, Amen - Georg Friedrich Händel
  • Salmo 150 - Ernani Aguiar
  • Tambur - Arr.: Lajos Bádos
  • Dirait-on - Morten Lauridsen
  • Over the Rainbow - Arr.: Mark Hayes
  • Walking Down That Glory Road - Mark Hayes
  • Zions Walls - Aaron Copland arr. Glen Koponen
Carnegie Hall
Time: January 16th, 2017
Location: Carnegie Hall, New York
Nelson Mass, Carnegie Hall

Performance of Nelson Mass - Photo: DCINY Production/Nan Melville Photography

Which singer does not dream about a performance at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City? For our choir, this dream became a reality on January 16th, 2017! By invitation of Dr. Catherine Sailer, Director of Choral Studies at the University of Denver, Colorado, we sang Franz-Joseph Haydn’s Missa in angustiis (Nelson Mass), together with choirs from the US and professional soloists and orchestra musicians. The performance was one major part of the concert “Reflections of Peace”, organized and produced by DCINY (Distinguished Concerts International New York).

Rehearsal in New York

Rehearsal in New York

All participating choirs had already thoroughly prepared musically for the concert in advance. In fact, we had already performed the Nelson Mass in April 2016, at that time still directed by Stephanie Benton, who was also with us for the Carnegie Hall performance. In the weeks befor our New York concert date, our musical director Justin Lewis revisited the music with us in extra rehearsals and provided many helpful instructions before we left. So we came well-prepared for the additional half-day rehearsals held in New York, at which Dr. Sailer formed a choral unit out of 180 singers in a very professional and effective manner. Here, the focus was mostly on vowel sound, articulation and dynamics. For the second rehearsal day, we were joined by the soloists so that we could especially solidify the transitions and interplay of soloists and choir. The dress rehearsal at Carnegie Hall, together with the orchestra and soloists, gave us a first taste of our evening performance.

Nelson Mass - Isaac Stern Auditorium

Nelson Mass - Isaac Stern Auditorium - photo: DCINY Production/Nan Melville Photography

Superbly prepared by Dr. Sailer and very well watched after and instructed logistically by the DCINY staff, we found our way to the Perelman stage in the Isaac Stern auditorium of Carnegy Hall around 7:45pm and viewed the audience of the beautiful concert hall with a mixture of awe, fascination, jitters and joy, with smiles on our faces. In the subsequent 50 minutes, we were highly focussed to give our best, carried by the exceptional orchestra musicians, inspired by the wonderful soloists, and expertly directed by a master of the craft, Dr. Catherine Sailer. Finally, the last page of the score - enjoy this intensive finale - This is it! We were rewarded with long-lasting applause and standing ovations.

We are very thankful for the opportunity to “debut” at Carnegie Hall as participants of a wonderful music project, together with many more who share our joy and passion for singing, in an international project choir that spanned cultures and generations. A very special event - unforgettable to those who could be part of it!

RPIC at Carnegie Hall

Der Rheinland-Pfalz International Choir at Carnegie Hall

New Year Reception of the Lord Mayor of Kaiserslautern
Time: January 9th, 2017, 5pm
Location: Fruchthalle, Fruchthallstraße 10, 67655 Kaiserslautern

By invitation of Dr. Klaus Weichel, Lord Mayor of the City of Kaiserslautern, we performed the three pieces

  • Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind - John Rutter
  • Prayer Of The Children - Kurt Bestor, Arr. Mark Hayes
  • Glorious - Stephanie Mabey

at the New Year Reception. Our performance was a first for the occasion, as these have never had a musical performance so far. The invitation was due to the upcoming Carnegie Hall debut of the choir. Dr. Weichel explicitly lauded the choir for the honor to represent Kaiserslautern in Carnegie Hall.