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Classical 101

Kudos to the Columbus Symphony Chorus

With few exceptions, choristers are not paid in the United States. Instead, we have the all volunteer amateur chorus, 'amateur' at its best meaning "for love." This past weekend the Columbus Symphony Chorus returned to the Ohio Theater for performances of Haydn's Te Deum for Maria Teresa and Mozart's Regina Coeli, K. 108. We heard Haydn at the end of his magnificent and long career, and Mozart near the beginning of 20 years the of music the like which the world will never again know. These days, one often encounters this music sung by small-scale vocal ensembles, with a judicious use of vibrato. When our chorus declaimed "Te deum laudamus" after Haydn's pithy orchestra introduction,  I adjusted my ears and (nearly) died happy. Our chorus gave warm, full-voiced and exciting performances of composers who deserve nothing less. It's a big group, our Columbus Symphony chorus, and a great collective stage presence. We've already enjoyed our choristers in the voice shredder of all-time, Beethoven's 9th. Coming up is my desert island favorite, Brahms German Requiem. The Brahms will require a different kind of intensity. It will be holy, deeply moving and worth more than the price of admission. Ronald Jenkins trains and conducts the Columbus Symphony Chorus. Under his leadership the chorus can sing anything and fears nothing. I sang in the Beethoven 9th once and love it every time I hear it as long as someone else is singing. They are always magnificent. They are not paid. So remember, to hear them is to hear love.

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.