Followers of the Unity Choir will have another opportunity to hear them on Palm Sunday, March 20, at 4 p.m. when they present “Requiem” by Charles Gounod.
The concert will take place at Newton First United Methodist Church, in Newton. Henry Repp will conduct as well as accompany on the three-manual Peragallo pipe organ. Merynda Adams will enhance the beauty of the music with her harp. Returning soloists will include soprano Cassandra Lambros, alto Kathleen Meredith, tenor Tom Carle, and bass David Young.
Well-known for other works including his Saint Cecilia Mass, Gounod was deeply moved by the death of his grandson Maurice, and he took up his pen once again in his old age. He wrote the first measures of his “Requiem” for soloists, chorus and orchestra on March 21, 1891 and completed the work at the beginning of 1893. After putting the finishing touches on the “Requiem” for his grandson, he died of a stroke in Saint Cloud, France. The aged composer did not live to hear the Requiem’s premiere during Holy Week in 1894.
Henry Repp, organist, first played a Messiah concert forty years ago at First Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dover. For the upcoming concert, Repp will also be directing the singers. The skill of an organist directing while playing has become a lost art, and Repp is a master of this art.
Repp became Director of Music and organist at First United Methodist Church in Newton on Sept. 1, 2012 and began the tradition of a Community Choir presentation on Palm Sunday afternoon.
The Unity Choir developed as a result of a snowstorm in Dec.of 2013 which caused the cancellation of the Messiah concert at First Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dover. The disappointed singers asked Repp if he would organize a concert in Newton, and the Unity Choir was born.
The Unity Choir then presented Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass on Palm Sunday 2014 and Requiem by Gabriel Fauré in 2015.
There will be a free-will offering and all are welcome. The church is handicapped-accessible and has ample parking.