The Villa Maria Choral, under the direction of Ireneusz Lukaszewski Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.

The Villa Maria Chorale
The Villa Maria Chorale

The Trinity Concert Series, “beautiful music in a beautiful space …,” presents a performance of Karl Jenkins The Peacemakers. Captivating melodies honoring inspirational figures (including Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa) whose voices changed the world. A free will offering will be taken.

Welshman Karl Jenkins is one of the most prolific, popular and performed composers in the world today.  He has been credited with transcending all boundaries – musical, geographic and cultural – in his style and integrity.

His 2011 composition, “The Peacemakers,” continues a theme of music in the celebration of peace by paying tribute to inspirational figures who have shaped history with their wisdom or resolved social or political issues in a peaceful way.  These messengers  include such iconic figures as St. Francis of Assisi, Anne Frank, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, and the Dalai Lama.

Drawing from two of the world’s great faiths, Christianity and Judaism, Jenkins cites passages from the Bible.  He uses quotes from the Qur’an and the Baha’i faith.  In the song “Fanfara” the word “peace” is sung in 21 languages.  All this is set on a musical background that hints at their origins and culture: African rhythm and harmony in “Let there be justice for all”; the Indian flute imitated in “I offer you peace”; echoes of the blues of the American South in “He had a dream”; monastic chant in “Let there be justice for all”; and echoes of Celtic drums and pipes in “Healing Light.”

The diversity of his melodies in “The Peacemakers” is a compelling and moving testament to the ethos of the work, summarized in the words of the 13th century Persian mystic poet, Rumi:  “All religions, all singing one song:  Peace be with you.”

The Villa Maria Choral , the “Choir in Residence” at Villa Maria College, has made an impact on the Western New York community since the choir’s debut in 1984. Founded by the Felician Sisters who were renowned for their musical leadership at Villa Maria College, the choir has developed from a small group of students to its current community-based membership. Their unique style and blend of voices has been the result of the masterful instruction and direction of award-winning director, Ireneusz Lukaszewski. Having won numerous awards with his choirs in Europe, Professor Lukaszewski has brought his knowledge and experience to the American musical milieu with his work with the Villa Maria Chorale. Together they have developed a rich repertoire of choral music from Palestrina and Vivaldi to contemporary works of Rutter, Lloyd Webber and Karl Jenkins, and have chosen Welsh composer Jenkins’ The Peacemakers as their major work this year. The choir has traveled well beyond the Buffalo area, performing in several famous European shrines and participating in choral festivals in Europe and Canada. It also instituted an artistic and cultural exchange program that brought many choirs, conductors and individual performers from Europe to our community.