Local choristers to sing for peace in global celebration

Four Nevada County residents are in Berlin, Germany, preparing to join more than 2,000 fellow choristers from across the world to sing for peace. The singers, Christine Newsom, M.D., Jerry and Linda Maloney, and Sarito Whatley, are all part of InConcert Sierra’s Sierra Master Chorale.

The performance Friday, Nov. 2 will be televised and mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. According to the event’s producers, “It will be the largest performance ever staged and is performed in synchronization with a specially commissioned war-archive film.”

Composer and conductor Sir Karl Jenkins will conduct the concert featuring his composition, “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace,” which is the most performed work of the 21st century by a living composer.

“It will be a great honor to conduct my “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” in Germany for the first time. A massed choir will come together to remember the fallen of the many wars of the past, as well as those who give their lives in the tragically large number of conflicts that continue to take place in our time. I dedicate the concert to the search for tolerance between nations and faiths, and to the pursuit of peace,” said Sir Karl Jenkins.

The Sierra Master Chorale, conducted by Ken Hardin, performed “The Armed Man” a total of five times to sold-out audiences: three performances in 2012 and two performances in 2016. The work is a powerful multi-faith and multi-language contemporary masterpiece.

To sing in the Berlin performance, applications and enquiries were only accepted from choirs and choristers who have performed “The Armed Man” on previous occasions and who are familiar with the work. The SMC singers sent in a video link to their performance for the panel’s review.

“When we first sang ‘The Armed Man’ in 2012, I was utterly amazed and moved at how unique and evocative the piece was. During rehearsals, I would note that other singers in the choir would get emotional, just as I would, as we sang about the preparations for war, the romanticizing of battle, the agonies of war, and the trauma of the victims of war—both the victors and the defeated,” said Dr. Newsom. “It was definitely the most moving piece of music I’ve ever sung. I knew immediately that I did not want to miss being a part of this amazing event.”​

The Berlin Concert for Peace is a nonprofit project. The performance will be at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.

“I want to go to Berlin to be a part of what I consider to be a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience of getting to sing with people of all different cultures, all singing one of the most moving pieces of music I have ever heard. Also, to sing ‘The Armed Man’ under the composer is a great draw for me. This opportunity is one I do not want to miss,” said Linda Maloney.

—InConcert Sierra

A video promoting the performance in Berlin (in German) is here:

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