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Archive for Saturday, July 20, 2002

Seattle musicians organize 9-11 ‘Requiem’ concerts

July 20, 2002

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— A group of Seattle singers organizing a series of worldwide performances of Mozart's "Requiem" for Sept. 11 say they have gotten thousands of e-mails in support of the idea.

"The heartfelt nature of their responses is remarkable," said Madeline Johnson, chairwoman of the Rolling Requiem Committee and a member of the Seattle Symphony Chorale. "It shows there is a worldwide longing to give voice to healing, to hope, to love."

Thirty choirs from around the world have signed up to take part in the "Rolling Requiem" and many more are considering joining, Johnson said.

A choir in Riga, Latvia, was among the first to respond, writing, "Not only will we sing in our country's largest performance space, we are inviting choirs from all over our country to join us."

A Boston choir responded that the invitation left some members in tears. A backer of the idea in Wales invited 200 Welsh choirs. A singing group in Taipei is organizing a network of Taiwanese choirs.

Each performance is to begin at 8:46 a.m. the time of the first attack on the World Trade Center in New York starting at the international date line and moving westward by time zone.

Organizers say a list of those who died in the attacks will be given to each choir, and each singer will make a heart badge with one of the names to wear.

The Seattle Symphony's music director, Gerard Schwarz, will conduct the "Requiem" at the city's Paramount Theater, leading about 50 orchestra members, a chorus of 120 and four soloists.

"As far as I'm concerned, nothing is more appropriate than a requiem, and there is no requiem more appropriate than the Mozart 'Requiem,"' Schwarz said.

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