April 6, 2024 @ 7:30 PM



The Firelands Symphony Chorale (FSC) and Heidelberg University Concert Choir present two performances of their Requiem For The Living concert – Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity United Church of Christ in Tiffin, and again on Sunday, April 7 at 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church is Sandusky. The chorale and university choir, under the direction of Michael Shirtz, will also feature a chamber orchestra and guest vocalist Kirsten C. Kunkle.


General admission tickets are available at firelandssymphony.com/tickets or by calling the FSO office at 419.621.4800 (Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Adult tickets are $20, and student tickets for youth and college students are free.


The concert headline will be Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. The five movements form a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead. This relatively new major choral work features themes of rest and mercy, turmoil, deliverance, peace, and imagery inspired by the view of our planet from the Hubble Telescope.


The concert will also highlight A Prayer for Peace by Matthew Kennedy, noted composer and Heidelberg University Assistant Professor of Composition/Theory. This work, which premiered at this year’s Thanksgiving concert, is based on the text of the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Featuring soprano Kirsten C. Kunkle, the chorus, and sinfonietta of strings and winds, the work is a beautiful weaving or melodies and harmonies that calls attention to our own opportunities to do good for others, bring peace to the world, and be grateful for the gifts in our lives.


“It has been an absolute pleasure to write and collaborate with Mike, Kirsten, and the chorale,” said composer Matthew Kennedy, whose works have been performed on five continents to critical acclaim. “As a teenager, I always said that all I wanted to do was make music with my friends. With the hospitality and collegial warmth I have received from everyone involved with FSO, it has felt like I am being welcomed as an old friend. Prayer for Peace is a new work that is evergreen in relevance and in its plea for peace, unity, and for a humanity of use (and at peace).”


The concert program also includes Ave Maria and Ola Gjeilo’s The Ground. Audience members may recognize Kirsten C. Kunkle, guest vocalist, as the chorale’s artist in residence this season. Most recently, she performed the soprano solo in Poulenc’s Gloria with the orchestra in March. A voting citizen of the Mvskoke Nation, Kirsten C. Kunkle has been lauded as the leading Native American soprano in today’s classical music world. Kunkle is also the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Wilmington Concert Opera, a women and minority run opera company based in Wilmington, Delaware.