MCP presents Schumann’s Requiem and Haydn’s Paukenmesse with the Masterwork Festival Chorus, professional soloists, and the New York City Chamber Orchestra, led by conductors Heather Mitchell and Eliza Rubenstein, as well as a performance from the National Children’s Festival Chorus, with conductor Robyn Lana at world-renowned Carnegie Hall!
After the Schumanns moved to Dusseldorf towards the end of his life, Robert Schumann became interested in the musical forms of the Catholic church, and the Mass and the Requiem. Schumann’s Requiem moves from majestic and internal to terrifying, and similar to Mozart, Schumann began composing a Mass for the dead during a time of illness and other hardships, and he expressed his fears that it was his own Requiem that he was writing.
Schumann’s Requiem will be conducted by MCP Conductor-in-Residence Heather Mitchell. Mitchell is currently the Artistic Director for the Hopewell Valley Chorus and is an Alto for the Manhattan Choral Ensemble. As a specialist in unfamiliar repertoire (e.g. the Schumann Requiem), this year Heather founded the professional vocal ensemble, FIVE LINES, to perform such works and bring attention to pieces by major composers that have been overlooked. Her teaching spans from children’s choirs to collegiate. Most notably, she was a director with the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, the head of the choral department at Anoka Ramsey Community College, Cambridge Campus, MN, and a music professor at Rollins College, FL. In 2006, Heather earned the Emerging Conductor Award from the Minnesota Chorale and has received Outstanding Conductor and Outstanding Achievement in Choral Music awards. She has been sought out as a clinician and judge for many choral festivals, including the Arizona Music Educators Association, All American Music Festival, and OrlandoFest.
Haydn's compelling Missa in tempore belli "Paukenmesse” (Mass in the Time of War), is one of the most popular of Haydn’s fourteen mass settings. Known also as the Paukenmesse due to the dramatic and driving use of timpani (pauken) throughout, the masterwork culminates in a beautiful celebration of peace with “Dona Nobis Pacem.” Conducted by Eliza Rubenstein, Rubenstein is the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Orange Coast College and the Artistic Director of the Orange County Women's Chorus and the Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. Ensembles under Eliza's direction have performed at Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall's REDCAT Theater, the International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales, where the OCWC was a 2015 prizewinner, among others. She conducted the Carnegie Hall premiere of Kirke Mechem's cantata Songs of the Slave in 2017. The Orange County Register has praised her "expert direction," and the Long Beach Gazette has said that "musically and technically, she has it all."
The concert will also feature the National Children’s Festival Chorus led by conductor Robyn Lana in a selection of short choral works. Robyn Reeves Lana is the Founder, Managing Artistic Director and Conductor of the award winning Cincinnati Children’s Choir (CCC), Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department (CCM). Under her leadership, CCC earned a gold medal in the 2012 World Choir Games, and in December 2015, CCC received the prestigious American Prize for Choral Performance in Youth Choirs. Lana is also on the choral faculty at Xavier University.
Recognized for building tone, artistry, and independent musicianship in children and youth, Lana has been invited to present nationally and conduct international, state and regional honor and festival choirs throughout the U.S. and abroad. She regularly prepares her choirs for collaborations with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera, and CCM choirs and orchestras achieving an extensive list of orchestral and operatic repertoire for children and praise from collaborating conductors including John Adams, Louis Langrée, John Morris Russell, Marcus Huber, James Conlon, Earl Rivers and Mark Gibson among others. She prepared CCC for two Telarc label recordings with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Erich Kunzel.