On a day when many people will turn to music for comfort, Duke students will join over 15,000 other musicians from around the world Sept. 11 as part of the "Rolling Requiem," a world-wide concert of Mozart's Requiem by choral groups in 25 international time zones.
The Duke Chorale and Chapel Choir will join the North Carolina Symphony, Choral Society of Durham, Chapel Hill Community Chorus and Raleigh Oratorio to present the approximately 50-minute piece in Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh Wednesday. The concert will begin precisely at 8:46 a.m., when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
Beginning in New Zealand, groups in all 25 time zones will perform the somber piece--perhaps the most famous of numerous versions of the Requiem. The Raleigh concert will be one of 73 in the Eastern Time Zone.
Rodney Wynkoop, director of University choral music and professor of the practice in the music department, said when he heard over the summer that a Seattle-based group was planning the Rolling Requiem, he thought involving Duke and local choral groups would be the perfect way to commemorate the anniversary of Sept. 11.
"As a musician, I find music to be something that can express lots of things that are virtually inexpressible with words," said Wynkoop, who will conduct the joint concert Wednesday. "Many will turn to worship, but others will turn to music."
Wynkoop noted that last September, as part of the University's memorial following the attacks, the Duke choral groups joined the N.C. Symphony for a concert in the Chapel, singing the Requiem as the final piece. The performance was broadcast in Page Auditorium and on a screen on Chapel Quad, attracting several thousand people.
Wednesday's performance is free to the public and the symphony will forego their contractual pay, said Scott Freck, general manager and vice president for artistic operations of the symphony. "This is obviously an important thing for us to provide to our community," Freck said. "Symphonic music, and in this case choral music, is one of the really great solaces that art can provide, in a way that maybe dance or drama can't."
He said when Wynkoop called to propose collaboration on the concert, he was excited about the selection.
"It is a very deeply meaningful piece with a wide range of emotion: anger, solace, regret. There is a lot to listen for in it," Freck said.
Senior Andrea Feit, a member of the Duke Chapel Choir, said despite the relatively short period of preparation, she and her fellow singers are looking forward to the performance.
"It was great last year," Feit said. "It's a pretty hard piece of music, but we want to make it special for everyone so we want to do it well."
The concert will not be broadcast live in the Duke University Chapel, but will be aired by WRAL television later in the day. It will also be carried live on several radio stations including WCPE (89.7 F.M.) in the Durham area.
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Doors open at 7:30 a.m. and the soloists include Jacqueline Culpepper, soprano; Mary Gayle Greene, mezzo-soprano; Randall Outland, tenor; and William Adams, bass.