2004-2005 Season

Christmas with the Choral Society

This inspirational Christmas concert featured the stirring Rutter Gloria with brass and organ accompaniment, Pergolesi's majestic Magnificat, Pinkham's Christmas Cantata, Bach's motet Lobet den Herrn, and a variety of lovely Christmas carols, including an original carol by Alf Houkom, commissioned especially for the Choral Society's 25th Anniversary season. The audience had a chance to sing a few carols as well. A reception will follow the concert. . [top]

Liberty and Justice for All

The Des Moines Choral Society presented "Liberty and Justice for All" celebrating Iowans' historic role in the never-ending struggle to attain civil rights for all people, as part of the Plymouth Fine Arts Series.

The Des Moines Choral Society was joined by a multiracial cast of local actors in another unique event, including an original script by playwright Cindy Mercati and music thrilling to those who attended the 2003 Civil War concert. In addition to the considerable vocal talents of the Choral Society, the evening's performance also included performances by the choir from Corinthian Baptist Church. The script is interwoven with familiar civil rights songs to tell the stories of men and women who fought for liberty and justice in their time. Among those profiled are Ralph and Rachel, former slaves whose ingenuity and friendships earned and maintained their freedom; Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States and an active suffragist; the black and white soldiers who fought side by side in the Civil War battle at Milliken's Bend; those who traveled and were conductors on the Underground Railroad; Gertrude Rush, Iowa's first African-American woman lawyer and a co-founder of the National Bar Association; Carrie Chapman Catt and other women suffragists; Edna Griffin, who worked tirelessly to integrate a lunch counter in downtown Des Moines; and the black officers, Tuskegee Airmen and WACS who diversified the armed forces. [top]

A Celebration of Singing

Bach, Brahms, Britten, Bartok, Basler, Busto.... A concert of past masters and contemporary composers. The concert included:

  • J.S. Bach's beloved Easter Cantata, Christ lag in Todesbanden (Christ Lay in Death's Strong Bands) for strings and choir

  • Johannes Brahms' An die Heimat (To My Homeland), a quartet for piano and voices, written shortly after the composer left his homeland (Hamburg) to move to Vienna

  • Benjamin Britten's Festival Te Deum, a brilliant setting of the Te Deum text in English for choir and organ

  • American Paul Basler's Alleluia for choir, percussion, and solo instrument

  • Spanish composer Javier Busto's unaccompanied Ave Maria