The Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra (LBCCO) will present Ralph Vaughn Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem on Saturday, April 2 at 7pm and Sunday, April 3 at 4pm at Grace First Presbyterian Church, 3955 Studebaker Rd.
In an effort to support arts education, local music students have been invited to join the group for a dress rehearsal, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at the preparation of a major work, including a question-and-answer session with artistic director Eliza Rubenstein. LBCCO is also making a special outreach to veterans and the Long Beach Veterans Affairs hospital, offering complimentary tickets to those who would not otherwise be able to attend.
Vaughan Williams composed the stirring work in 1936 in Britain during the tumultuous years leading up to World War II. Having served in the Field Ambulance Service during World War I, Williams was haunted by the carnage he witnessed and the loss of friends in battle. Dona Nobis Pacem reflects the social and political tension of a specific time and place in history; however, its pacifist message and lyrical beauty are timeless.
The chorale will be joined by soprano Jenny Spence and baritone David Stoneman, who last performed with LBCCO in 2010 when the chorale presented Johannes Brahms’s German Requiem.
Dona Nobis Pacem incorporates portions of the Latin mass, Biblical texts, poetry by Walt Whitman, and even a quote from British statesman John Bright to create its compelling message for peace.
The concert will also feature a performance of Arvo Pärt’s haunting Fratres for violin and chamber orchestra by award-winning soloist Caitlin Kelley. She is the concertmaster of the Young Musicians Foundation orchestra and has a bachelor’s degree from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where she is currently pursuing a professional studies certificate.
The audience is invited to join members of LBCCO for a reception after the show. Refreshments and desserts will be available, and guests can also bid on silent-auction items and enter raffle drawings to win prizes.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students, and they can be purchased at longbeachchorale.org or by calling (562) 427-1931.