The WVU Women’s Choir is joining with the University Choir to offer some solace to those grieving after recent loss.

On Sunday, Feb. 21 at 3:15 p.m. the choirs will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem” in honor of those who have recently passed, especially those who died as a result of the earthquake in Haiti, and surviving family members in this time of grief.

The program will take place at the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre inside the Creative Arts Center, and will be under the direction of Jeffry Blake Johnson. The concert will also be available via webcast at

According to Johnson, Mozart’s “Requiem” was commissioned in July of 1791 by Count Franz von Walsegg in honor of Walsegg’s wife, who had passed away the preceding February.

Tragically, Mozart died before the composition was finished and his wife saw the work through to its completion.

“Mozart’s wife, Constanze, had the work finished in secrecy by two of Mozart’s students, first Joseph Eybler, then Franz Xaver S�ssmayr, in order to receive the full payment for the work when it was delivered to Walsegg,” Johnson said.

The first performance of “Requiem” was given at St. Michael’s Church in Vienna on Dec. 10, 1791, just days after Mozart’s death on Dec. 5.

This inaugural performance was given as a tribute to Mozart by the impresario Emmanuel Shikeneder and consisted only of the portions of the work that Mozart was able to complete before his death.

The complete “Requiem” was finally delivered to Walsegg in December of 1793.

“Its music, drawn from the traditions of baroque and classical styles, dramatically and poignantly brings this work of prayer to life. As an historian, one can become immersed in the details leading to the completion of this work. As a musician, one can marvel at the beauty of the melodies and the vivid patterns of the structure and harmonies. As a human, one can find deep connection with the power of this work as it struggles with death and seeks peace for those who have crossed over,” Johnson said.

The WVU performance will feature students Mine Sue Kim, soprano, Cynthia Ortiz-Bartley, mezzo soprano, Nathan Costella, tenor, and Jarrell Strickland, baritone.

They will be joined by student Jozsef T. Kovacs III, trombonist and special guest Dr. William Haller, organist.

For tickets, contact the Mountainlair and CAC box offices at (304) 293-SHOW.



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CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4841 ext. 3108,