Symphony Orchestra groups with others for year’s last concert

By Adam Pennavaria | @KyKernel

[email protected]

More than 300 performers gathered on the stage of the Singletary Center on Friday evening for the UK Symphony Orchestra’s final free concert of the year.

The program, called “The War Requiem,” was written by British composer Benjamin Britten.

“The War Requiem” was intended to be an argument for peace in light of the World Wars. Friday’s performance was dedicated to the victims of the recent violence in the Boston area.

The UKSO collaborated with the Lexington Singers, the UK Chorale and the Lexington Singers Children’s Chamber Choir for the performance.

The vocalists painted an image of the atrocities of men in violent combat with their songs.

Three soloists, Catharine Clarke Nardolilo (soprano), Justin Vickers (tenor) and Thomas Gunther (baritone) sang in English and Latin, telling the tale of war through the eyes of soldiers.

Arts administration senior and general manager of the orchestra, Kierstin Quick, said she was pleased with the performance.

“I thought it went over really well,” Quick said. “The audience and the musicians on stage were very moved. It was a great way for a lot of the graduating seniors to go out.” Vickers and Gunther sang in several duets as the tale of the soldiers’ struggle and strife continued.

“We laughed, knowing that better men would come, and greater wars,” they sang. “Gentle Lord Jesus, grant them rest. Oh Lord, have mercy upon us,” the chorus replied.

Punctuated by bouts of dissonance and Latin verse, the concert entranced the audience, giving them a lucid understanding of terrors of war.

Following the program’s end, the performers and directors received two standing ovations from the audience.

Students and members of the community alike filled the auditorium as the four groups of musicians performed.

Afterward, the hallways in the backstage area filled rapidly with family, friends and fans, congratulating the performers.

The orchestra will be leaving the country for a weeklong tour of China, beginning on May 11. It will perform at the Chinese National Center for the Performing Arts on May 19.

A performance will be broadcast on the China Central Television network, which reaches more than one billion homes.

UKSO will return next fall for its 94th season with a new program of concerts. Full details for the upcoming season are at finearts.uky .edu/music/ukso.