Albert Jackson directs his final performances with South Holland Master Chorale

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May 15 and May 22 concerts pay tribute to pandemic losses

information provided by South Holland Master Chorale

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (April 13, 2022) – South Holland Master Chorale will conclude its current musical season with a pair of concerts featuring two works of “supreme beauty and great spiritual depth,” says member Phil Schwartz.

These concerts also mark the final performance of Albert Jackson as musical director of South Holland Master Chorale. Jackson, who has directed the choral group — previously associated with South Suburban College — since 1998, announced his plans last fall to retire after the current season.

Performances by the 80-member chorale will be:

  • May 15, 4 p.m. — St. Joseph Catholic Church, 17951 Dixie Highway, Homewood
  • May 22, 4 p.m. — St. Jude the Apostle Church, 880 E. 154th Street, South Holland

Haydn and Forrest

Leading the performances will be Franz Josef Haydn’s Missa Brevis No. 7, also known as the “Little Organ Mass.” This rendition of music for the Roman Catholic Mass, dating from about 1777, takes its popular name from the extended “Benedictus” movement for soprano solo and organ.

Albert Jackson directs
Dan Forrest (Photo provided)

The other highlight of the spring concerts will be the intensely moving “Requiem for the Living” by contemporary American composer Dan Forrest. This work, first performed in 2013, is a musical setting of prayers from the traditional Catholic Mass for the Dead, interspersed with other scriptural texts. Among those texts is the powerful second movement, “Vanitas Vanitatum,” based on the text from Ecclesiastes, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!”

Regarding his composition, Forrest says, “A Requiem, at its core, is a prayer for rest, traditionally for the deceased: Grant THEM rest. The five movements of the ‘Requiem for the Living,’ however, form a narrative just as much for the living and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead: Grant US rest.”

Albert Jackson directing
Graeme Shields (Photo provided)

Chicago-area organist Graeme Shields and a select group of chamber players will provide accompaniment in the concerts.

Memorial and solace

The Chorale offers these two works as a memorial and a gesture of solace to those remembering loved ones lost, particularly those lost in the worldwide pandemic.

Admission to the concerts is free; donations will be accepted.

Audience members are asked to follow updated CDC guidelines regarding wearing of masks at the concerts, with consideration of their own health and the health of others in attendance.

More information is available at the Chorale website, southhollandmasterchorale.org, or by emailing [email protected].

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