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Season Archive

2004-2005 | 2005-2006 | 2006-2007 | 2007-2008 |
2008-2009 | 2009-2010 | 2010-2011 | 2011-2012 |
2012-2013 | 2013-2014

2013-2014 Concert Season

Christmas with the Choral Society
Saturday, December 14, 2013
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

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Masterworks: Fauré's Requiem
Saturday, April 5, 2014
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

The Des Moines Choral Society and The Ames Chamber Artists presented Gabriel Fauré's Requiem. This beautiful masterwork featured baritone and soprano soloists along side chamber orchestra and organ. The soprano aria, "Pie Jesu", especially suited the beautiful setting of St. Ambrose Cathedral. The Choral Society also offered additional works to create a magnificent evening.

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2012-2013 Concert Season

Christmas with the Choral Society
Saturday, December 8, 2012
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

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Singing from the Heartland
with the Heartland Youth Choir

Friday, February 22, 2013
First Baptist Church, Johnston

The Des Moines Choral Society, together with the Heartland Youth Choir, welcomed Minneapolis guest artist Kim Sueoka for an evening of Hawaiian music. A native Hawaiian, Ms. Sueoka led the choirs in exploring Hawaiian traditions through music. In commemoration of Benjamin Britten's 100th birthday, the Choral Society also presented his Rejoice in the Lamb along with portions of the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes. In keeping with its commitment to education and community outreach, the Choral Society also sponsored a day with Ms. Sueoka assisted by percussionist David Burk at Monroe Elementary School in Des Moines and Johnston Timber Ridge Elementary School.

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Masterworks: Movements from African Sanctus & All-Night Vigil
Saturday, April 27, 2013
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

The Des Moines Choral Society and The Ames Chamber Artists joined in singing movements from this unorthodox Latin Mass harmonized with traditional African music — recorded by the composer on the River Nile forty years ago. Native music from Egypt, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya was in counterpoint with live chorus, soprano soloist and instrumental ensemble. In addition, the choirs also presented movements from Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil.

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2011-2012 Concert Season

Christmas with the Choral Society
December 10, 2011
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

The choir, orchestra, and soloists celebrated the season with works by master composers, including Bach, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, and Fauré, as well as seasonal carols — familiar favorites and newly discovered gems.

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Bravo Britain!
March 31, 2012
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

The Choral Society presented a few of Britain's great musical treasures during Bravo Britain! Featuring works by noted British composers, the concert's centerpiece was Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem — a work for soloists, orchestra, and choir, with texts taken from Scripture and Walt Whitman poetry.

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2010-2011 Concert Season

Christmas with the Choral Society
December 11, 2010
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

Building on a time-honored tradition, the Des Moines Choral Society was thrilled to herald in the holiday with the seasonal favorite, Christmas with the Choral Society! Performed at St. Ambrose Cathedral in conjunction with the Diocese of Des Moines Centennial Celebration, this concert reflected an evening of lessons and carols, with works by Handel, Mozart and other noted composers. As always, the audience was invited to join us in singing a cherished Christmas carol or two.

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Brahms' Requiem
April 30, 2011
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

During an evening of musical grandeur, the Des Moines Choral Society presented one of the most beloved choral masterworks, Johannes Brahms’ Ein deutches Requiem. The four-hand piano arrangement of this masterpiece was set against the lovely backdrop of St. Ambrose Cathedral in conjunction with the Diocese of Des Moines Centennial Celebration. Our own Elaine Wedeking and four-year Iowa All-State accompanist Michael Bagby were at the keyboard. Thank you for joining the choir, soloists, and pianists for this beautiful musical experience of comfort and hope.

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2009-2010 Concert Season

Celebrating 30 Years of Excellence in Choral Music:

Christmas with the Choral Society
December 12, 2009
Grace United Methodist Church, Des Moines

We kicked off our 30th season of excellence in choral music with the seasonal favorite Christmas with the Choral Society! Performed at Grace United Methodist Church, the concert delivered an evening filled with familiar carols as well as works by Handel, Mozart, Bach, and other noted composers. The choir, orchestra, and soloists celebrated the season, and followed the performance with a silent auction just in time to find the perfect holiday gift!

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Timeless Masterworks:
J.S. Bach—Mass in B Minor

February 27, 2010
St. Mark Lutheran Church, West Des Moines

Johann Sebastian Bach assembled what many believe to be the greatest composition in western music, the Mass in B Minor. Set against the lovely backdrop of St. Mark Lutheran Church, the Des Moines Choral Society, chamber orchestra, and soloists performed major portions of this time-honored masterwork: the Kyrie, the Gloria, and the Agnus Dei.

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Songs of the Spirit:
Celebrating 30 Years of Singing

April 24, 2010
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

We celebrated our 30th anniversary with the singing of American spirituals and hymns. Held at St. Ambrose Cathedral, this uplifting concert put a smile on our face and a song in our heart as we celebrated our community and heritage. The performance was followed by a special 30th anniversary reception.

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2008-2009 Concert Season:

Sparks Fly Upward
November 8, 2008
Hoyt Sherman Auditorium, Des Moines

A musical drama of fear, faith and hope! A World Premiere Performance Directed by Timothy X. Troy, Conducted by Maestro Joseph Giunta, Written and Composed by Cathy Lesser Mansfield The Des Moines Choral Society is pleased to take part in the original musical drama The Sparks Fly Upward, the story of three German families, two Jewish and one Christian, thrust headlong into the Holocaust. Written and composed by DMCS board member Cathy Lesser Mansfield, The Sparks Fly Upward uses lush music and rich lyrics to portray the personal struggle of these families as they fight to survive and hold on to each other and their faith.

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Christmas with the Choral Society
December 13, 2008, 7:30 PM
St Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

Celebrating twenty nine years of majestic holiday music! Antonio Vivaldi, Magnificat; J.S. Bach, Dona Nobis Pacem; Dominick Argento, Gloria; Randol Bass, Praeludium Noel . . . plus traditional and contemporary Christmas carols! Program Notes (PDF, 109KB)

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Inspiring Masterworks . . . Past and Present
April 25, 2009, 7:30 PM
Basilica of St John, Des Moines

Featuring two Requiem settings—combining the old with the new! A Time-Honored Classic: W.A. Mozart, Requiem. An Iowa Premiere Performance: Mack Wilberg, Requiem. During this evening of musical splendor, you will experience two different Requiem settings in one grand performance. First, Mozart’s famous setting, as completed by his student Süssmayr. Next, Mack Wilberg’s new setting, which departs from the traditional Requiem text to include scripture from Psalms, will soar with a beautiful message of hope and comfort. Together, these Requiem settings provide a perfect opportunity to appreciate a classic masterwork along with a debut work of a celebrated composer and arranger. This is an evening you won’t want to miss!

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2007-2008 Concert Season:

Messiah with the Des Moines Symphony
December 1, 2007
Civic Center of Greater Des Moines

Christmas with the Choral Society
December 8, 2007
St. Ambrose Cathedral

“Christmas with the Choral Society” heralds the holiday season on December 8th in the beautiful Cathedral of St. Ambrose. The acoustics of this setting make this a favorite place to perform. We will fill the cathedral with sound, voices and instruments, celebrating the majesty of the Season. This concert is designed to set a festive mood as a glorious prelude to Christmas. In addition to favorite carols, we will offer up a bit of Bach, and some choruses from Handel’s Messiah. We will invite you to lift your voices along with ours, in a fitting tribute to a season devoted to love and community. Mark your calendars now to ring in the spirit. Program Notes (PDF, 118KB)

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Masterworks of Hope
February 23, 2008
St. John's Lutheran Church

The Des Moines Choral Society is delighted to offer “Masterworks of Hope” as a part of the St. John’s Lutheran Fine Arts Festival. Hollis Monroe of WOI –FM will host this evening’s concert. Experience the depth and passion of select movements from Joseph Haydn’s “Kettledrum Mass” (Mass in Time of War) as the baleful music of the kettle drums reflects the struggle of Haydn’s homeland, Austria, in a time of war. Next, movements from John Rutter’s Requiem celebrate both victory over death and hope in eternal life. Finally, soar with the uplifting and energetic themes in Choral Fantasy by Ludwig von Beethoven, featuring Elaine Wedeking on piano. Each work elevates the spirit in an exaltation of life. Program Notes (PDF, 100KB)

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Destination Iowa
April 26, 2008
First United Methodist Church

April marks a return to our Iowa Heritage Series, this time showcasing Iowa’s immigrants. In “Destination Iowa,” the Des Moines Choral Society pays tribute to the commonality of the immigrant experience—across generations and across cultures. We who call Iowa home have a reason to feel settled here. Partnering with The Council for International Understanding, we will celebrate these reasons in story and song with music honoring a multitude of different backgrounds including German, French, Mesqwaki, Latin American, Norwegian and Czech. We close with a fitting tribute to Governor Robert Ray, whose activism saved the lives of hundreds of Southeast Asian refugees, many of whom now call Iowa home. Join us to celebrate Iowa’s immigrant experience. Program Notes (PDF, 120KB)

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2006-2007 Concert Season:

Christmas with the Choral Society
December 9, 2006
Grace United Methodist Church

A tradition continues as the Des Moines Choral Society brings you glorious sounds of the season. Sonorous strings, majestic brass, and the richness of voices weave together within the holiday grandeur of Grace United Methodist Church, lifting spirits and expressing the joy and splendor of Christmas. Join in some of our favorite Christmas carols and share with us selections chosen to reflect the nobility and spirit of the season. After last year’s sell-out concert, we’re moving into larger spaces to accommodate our growing audience. Find out why more and more people are spending Christmas with the Choral Society.

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To Life!
February 24, 2007
Tifereth Israel Synagogue

In the historic setting of Tifereth Israel Synagogue, the Choral Society will pay tribute to the Jewish composers who have shaped Western music. No aspect of music lies untouched by their influence. Thus, the first half of the concert will include more serious works by composers such as Leonard Bernstein. Merriment fills the second half of the concert. We will showcase Aaron Copland, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, and later enjoy a performance by the Java Jews. Come experience both well-known and little-known choral treasures with us.

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Essential Water
April 28, 2007
Grace United Methodist Church

Water is everything. It is just that profound. It is the very stuff of our being. Its pristine bounty assures our survival. How easy then, to take it for granted. Iowa, bounded by two mighty rivers, faces challenges to a continuing supply of clean water. While various factions debate how to assure clean water for the state for now and for years to come, the fact is, if we pay too little attention, our plentiful supply will diminish. The concert caps Polk County Conservation’s EarthWeek.

In that context, The Des Moines Choral Society will offer an evening devoted to the subject of water to remind the public how vital good stewardship of the water is to our well-being—at every level of experience. Beyond the science of water and the part individuals can play in conserving water, we’ll celebrate its many roles in our lives: the fun we have with water, the salvation water can bring, the drama of storms, the majesty and power of water, and water’s inspiration.

The concert will be an aesthetic reminder of that which refreshes us in body and spirit. Its meditative power laps on the beaches of Iowa's rivers and streams. And its raucous power awakens us on summer's nights.

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2005-2006 Concert Season:

Christmas with the Choral Society
December 10, 2005
St Ambrose Cathedral

The Choral Society will present colorful and heartwarming music of the Advent and Christmas seasons. Portions of Bach's Cantata Wachet auf and Rutter's Magnificat will be featured along with time-honored motets, such as Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium. Traditional favorite carols of the season, including the sparkling arrangements of Mack Wilberg, will be presented with chamber orchestra.

Here are some short excerpts from this Christmas concert (mp3 files):

To purchase a CD of the entire concert, contact dmcs@dmchoral.org.

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Choral Classics
February 25, 2006
First Baptist Church

Join the Choral Society for a celebration of choral literature that spans five centuries and features some of history's most beloved composers, including Brahms and Mozart. Newer works by well-known artists will also be featured. Folk songs and spirituals will round out this program of music selected by Artistic Director Dr. James Rodde.

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Mother Iowa: Heritage Iowa Series
May 13, 2006
First Christian Church
* silent auction & reception following the concert *

This concert will showcase fascinating women and their influence on the Iowa character. From the mother of an Iowa businessman who persuaded the Nazi SS to release her husband from Dachau, to the mother who tended her son's experimental garden at the dawn of research into hi-bred corn, the narration will tell poignant and humorous stories that are Iowa's legacy. Celebrated playwright Cynthia Mercati returns as the scriptwriter. The Choral Society will sing music requested by some of the subjects profiled in the narration, or by favorite composers, in tribute to the many ways mothers have shaped our lives. We know you will enjoy the stories, the music, the fun, the wisdom - the whole evening. Come early and peruse the items available for Mother's Day gifts (or Father's Day gifts, or any other occasion) in our silent auction. The successful bids will be announced and the items can be claimed during a post-concert reception in the fellowship hall.

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2004-2005 Concert Season:

Christmas with the Choral Society
December 10, 2004
First Christian Church

This inspirational Christmas concert will feature 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 will have a chance to sing a few carols as well. A reception will follow the concert. We hope you can join us!

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Liberty & Justice for All
February 18, 2005
Plymouth Church

The Des Moines Choral Society will present "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 will be joined by a multiracial cast of local actors in another unique event, including an original script by playwright Cindy Mercati and music that will thrill those who attended the 2003 Civil War concert. In addition to the considerable vocal talents of the Choral Society, the evening's performance will also include performances by the choir from Corinthian Baptist Church. The script will be 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.

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A Celebration of Singing
May 6, 2005
First Baptist Church

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

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