Voices of Greencastle Comes Together in an Ethereal Performance

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On the evening of April 24, three choirs, Vox Animae, Chamber Singers, and Putnam County Festival Choir, united for a mesmerizing performance at Kresge Auditorium. Under the direction of Professor of Music Eric Schmidt and accompanied by organist Albrecht von Gaudecker, the choirs delivered a mesmerizing rendition of the piece “Requiem,” comprising seven distinct movements. This concert held special significance for Professor Schmidt, marking his final choir concert at DePauw and a milestone in his music teaching career.

The Putnam County Festival Choir, with over 40 individuals from DePauw and Putnam County, contributed their voices to the “Requiem” piece, guiding the audience through a solemn journey of the afterlife. In fact, “Requiem” is a piece that is usually sung during masses in the Catholic Church for the deceased. From the concept of Requiem Aeternam, eternal rest, to the grappling with guilts and sin and seeking divine mercy while expressing unwavering faithfulness to Jesus, each movement evoked a unique range of emotions within the audience that were relevant to everyone. 

The highlight of the concert was the movement “Offertoire,” characterized by complex melodies and harmonies interwoven across the four voice parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass). There were a lot of runs and altering tempo between different voice parts, especially at the later half of the movement, which serves as a perfect lever for further elevation of emotional intensity as the piece goes on. It was a desperate, yet hopeful and faithful prayer to God, showcasing the absolute musical beauty. 

Soprano soloist Elise Martinez ‘25 exquisitely performed the fourth movement "Pie Jesu," a moving plea for eternal rest. Martinez's flawless voice ornamented the piece with sincerity and innocence, inviting the audience to experience in the afterlife.

The concert was truly a remarkable experience. Even though the piece was sung in Latin, the brochure providing translation of the lyrics, and the choir’s excellent delivery touched the hearts of many who attended, leaving lingering thoughts about life and death. Framing the performance was the dedication and talent of all involved, presenting the process of a semester's worth of meticulous preparation and rehearsal. Their efforts have proved to be all worth it, as when members of Putnam County and DePauw came together in unity, their voices resonated with passion and purpose, leaving an immense impression on all who were fortunate enough to hear.