Sierra Master Chorale presents “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” on May 15, 17

“THE ARMED MAN: A MASS FOR PEACE” was commissioned for the millennium by the U.K. Royal Armouries. The hope was that performances would encourage young people to think about “the vital issues of war and peace.”

The composer is Welsh-born Sir Karl Jenkins, known for his brilliant music (and a robust mustache). “As I started composing ‘The Armed Man,’ the tragedy of Kosovo unfolded,” he has said. “I was reminded daily of the horror of such conflict, so I dedicated the work to the victims of Kosovo.”

“The Armed Man” premiered at The Royal Albert Hall, London in April 2000. A recent survey has shown it to be the most performed work by a living composer.

On May 15 and 17, the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra performs “The Armed Man” at the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The 70-voice choir sang the piece in 2012 to a sold-out crowd. “The music kept the crowd spellbound,” we reported at the time.

The performance begins with a marching army and the beat of military drums, the orchestra gradually building to the choir’s entrance, singing the 15th-century theme tune—”The Armed Man.”

From the horror of mass destruction the work turns to remember that one death is one too many, that each human life is sacred. The Benedictus heals these wounds in its slow and stately affirmation of faith, a positive climax to the work. The Benedictus caused some tears to swell in the crowd, we noticed four years ago.

“Performing ‘The Armed Man’ was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had,” said soprano Vicki Cambron, “It was magical.”


April 14: The Swingles
For more than half a century The Swingles have pushed the boundaries of vocal music. The seven young singers that make up today’s London-based group are driven by the same spirit that has defined the five-time Grammy winners since the 1960s. At The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley.

April 17: Rose Ensemble
The Rose Ensemble has achieved an international reputation as a premier American early music vocal and instrumental ensemble. Their program entitled “Slavic Wonders” includes stunning 12-part Baroque motets from the Russian Orthodox tradition, Medieval Latin chants for Slavic saints and powerful double-choir works from the Polish Renaissance. At the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Grass Valley.

For tickets or more information, visit

(Photo: Darby Davenport)

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