Beatitude Mass Choir Presents Benefit Concerts

Beatitude Mass Choir Presents Benefit Concerts

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Local composer Henry Mollicone will conduct the Beatitude Mass Choir in two benefit concerts, on September 15, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 12770 Saratoga Avenue, Saratoga, and on September 23, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph, 80 South Market Street, San Jose. Both concerts are at 7:30 p.m.

The centerpiece of the concerts is Mollicone’s Beatitude Mass: for the Homeless, which premiered in San Jose in 2006, and has been performed around the country and in England, raising over $200,000 for local organizations that serve the homeless. The program will be rounded out with performances of several shorter works, including “The Trumpet Shall Sound,” from Handel’s Messiah, a Schubert and three additional songs by Mollicone.

The idea for composing Beatitude Mass evolved from conversations between Mollicone and a friend, Father John Pedigo. The piece incorporates portions of the Latin Mass Ordinary and the Biblical beatitudes, as well as original text by William Luce. The sacred texts are placed alongside quotes drawn from interviews conducted by Mollicone and Father Pedigo with people living in local homeless shelters. The juxtaposition of these varied sources creates a profoundly moving piece of music that “uses melody and harmony to exalt the simple, anguished words of homeless people into haunting and moving expressions.” (Scott McClelland, Monterey County Weekly)

The Beatitude Mass Choir (BMC), the soloists, and the instrumentalists, are local musicians who volunteer their time. The purpose of the BMC is to give free community concerts, accepting donations for charities that support social justice work for causes such as homelessness, immigration, and the plight of refugees. A consortium of local musicians and organizations, including Barbara Day Turner, founder and Director of the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Tamami Honma, Artistic Director of the Cal Arte Ensemble, and Leroy Kromm, conductor and Artistic Director, San Jose Symphonic Choir supports Mollicone’s efforts.

The concerts are free, and donations will be gratefully accepted. For more information, contact sallykl@comcast.net.