"David Brunner's music is lyrical, fresh-sounding and always creative.  His music is a favorite with the choir as well as the audience!"

Lynne Gackle
School of Music
Baylor University

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Main | Mirabai Comes to Lubbock! »
Sunday
Apr152018

BIG. BERNSTEIN. MASS.

Last weekend we opened UCF Celebrates the Arts at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando with two performances of the Big Bernstein MASS.  It was something I've always wanted to conduct. Our fully staged production was a collaboration of students and faculty in literally every area of the School of Performing Arts.  The Mass is huge -- a large, liturgical choir, women's chorus, street chorus and children's chorus, large orchestra, rock band, four keyboards, marching band, dancers...  several hundred performers in all.  Jeremy Hunt, of the voice faculty was a powerful Celebrant and Jahdai Figueroa the perfect boy soprano. Robin Jensen prepared the children from the Orlando Opera Children's program.  Michael Wainstein's staging, the choreography, lighting...  It was all astounding, really, and a weekend I will not forget. 

Oh, and the following night the UCF choirs presented another concert of entirely different repertoire.  Journey to Justice (Singing the Journey) brought the civil unrest of the time when Bernstein was writing the Mass to our day.  The messages of the music focused on inequalities and injustices, prejudice and discrimination -- but also hopefulness and new beginnings, possibilities and change – the light of a clear blue morning.  There were also reading and archival recordings of singers from the 60’s:  Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary -- those who sang about injustice, civil rights, war and peace. Their messages are our messages.  We decided to forego tuxedos and formal dresses and sang as regular people, just like you, who have concerns about the needs of others. 

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