Masterworks pays tribute to beloved faculty member

October 29, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

The Canyon Chorale and the Canyon Symphony Orchestra previously have performed Handel’s “Messiah.”

By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau

The Canyon Chorale, Canyon Choral Society and Canyon Symphony Orchestra return to public performances next week for this semester’s Masterworks Concert.

Students will perform Johannes Brahms’ “A German Requiem Op. 45,” at 2 p.m. Sunday at the First United Methodist Church, 5510 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, and at 7 p.m. Monday at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church, 6300 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale. The Sunday performance will showcase the choir accompanied by pianists Andria Fennig and GCU piano instructor Mark Fearey, and in Monday’s event the choir will be accompanied by the Canyon Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts are free and open to the public and will be dedicated to the memory of Dr. Sheila Corley, a longtime GCU faculty member and alumna who passed away in August. Dr. Juan Hernandez, Assistant Dean of Music for the College of Fine Arts and Production, said “German Requiem” is the last work Corley sang with the GCU group, at Phoenix Symphony Hall in 2017.

“Always loving and caring for her students, she was a consummate artist, a master teacher and a true example of what a Christian artist is all about,” he said. “Her passing is a tremendous loss to our GCU music community, and we are honored to remember her through the performance of this work.”

Brahms composed the piece in the 1860s while mourning the death of his mother and used it to celebrate her life. Hernandez said the message is relevant today because of the pandemic.

“There is no doubt everybody has been touched by the severity of this pandemic and has experienced the loss of a loved one or knows of a friend who lost a loved one to this illness,” he said. “Now, more than ever, we have become aware of the frailty of life.

“The words of this requiem, which Brahms chose from the Scriptures instead of the traditional requiem liturgy, provide comfort to those who are left behind. … Members of our GCU community are dedicating this performance to the memory of a loved one they have lost recently.”


Related content:

GCU Today: GCU goes big — Hallelujah! — for ‘Messiah’

GCU Today: Slideshow: GCU’s ‘Messiah’ presentation


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