14 Songs in 14 Days: Day 10, Church Street and the Fauré Requiem

Recap: I was challenged by one of my friends in EMU Choir to participate in one of those “14 Songs in 14 Days” kind of things, where you list or discuss 14 pieces of music that have had a profound impact on your life! Seeing as to how I have an abundance of time on my hands that I’m using only semi-usefully to this point in the quarantine/isolation, I figured why not step up my game a bit and use this challenge as the theme of a blog post series. For the entire series, click here.

Tonight we transition from West Tennessee to the charming East side of the state, where I lived for six years while in grad school at the University of Tennessee. This move, in addition to being the beginnings of my real professional training as a geographer, was also in many ways the beginning of a transition to an enriched and deepened appreciation for classical music, thanks to combined forces of singing in the Church Street United Methodist Church parish choir and the Knoxville Choral Society/Chamber Chorale [more about that later in the series].

Thanks to my involvement in these two larger arts/arts-supporting organizations (and eventually involvement in a few other choirs and special concerts that spun off from these two), one of the main themes of my musical growth from this period was my eyes being blown WIDE open by performing many many choral masterworks. I could give you a laundry list (there were a lot, like I said), but those are already all listed on my music resume. Within the first couple of years in Knoxville, I had already sung such marvelous works as Beethoven’s 9th with KCS and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb with Church Street at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, and tonight’s chosen masterpiece—I had no idea what an impact this would make on me emotionally, and how long the music would stay with me, right up to the present since we performed it near annually at my current church gig at Mariners’ Church of Detroit— Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem.

It’s a long one…so you could be forgiven for not listening to the entire thing tonight! I like this version, however, because 1) it’s performed by The Cambridge Singers, Members of the City of London Sinfonia, John Scott (organ) under the direction of John Rutter, and 2) it has the score so you can follow along and learn a thing or two.

More on this tremendously important six-year period of my life over the course of the next post or two! Hard to believe we’re already on Day 10.

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