Play for the Dogs

Bay Area Musicians: September is light anyway, so how about considering doing this benefit to raise funds for the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation:

This September, to mark the five-year anniversary of the World Trade Center disaster, the Pacific Collegium will present Duruflé’s Requiem and two major works of Gerald Finzi in a benefit concert on behalf of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation ( NDSDF, a primary organization for the training and support of search and rescue dog teams, was prominent in the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center five years ago and in many before and since, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Their expert search teams are provided at no cost to fire departments and other emergency service agencies throughout the country. As a tax-exempt charity with no government funding, NDSDF relies on support from private individuals, foundations and corporations to provide this crucial service.

Our goal is to enable 100% of ticket proceeds for this event to directly benefit NDSDF by arranging for fixed expenses to be waived, other expenses such as music rental to be underwritten, and by soliciting an ensemble of top-notch musicians as volunteers for this memorial fundraising concert.

Would you consider a donation of your time and talent as an instrumentalist to help make this event possible? Your time and your skills are extremely valuable (or we wouldn’t ask you to be involved in this project!). We hope you will consider joining us on this significant memorial occasion both for the sake of an important charitable cause, and in order to bring these beautiful works to performance in two very flattering acoustic spaces, but most importantly as a fitting tribute on the five-year anniversary of 9-11.

In fact, we could not be more thrilled about the program of music, featuring Duruflé’s Requiem in full orchestration alongside Lo, the full, final sacrifice and Dies Natalis, two engaging and eloquent works of Finzi a three-part meditation on tragedy and innocence, desolation, redemption and the simple wonder of being. A full orchestra and vocal forces of the Pacific Collegium will also be joined by trebles of the Pacific Boychoir Academy. I believe you will find it a suitable reflection on the events of 9-11-01 as well as a worthwhile observance of its five-year anniversary, in which you will be glad to be involved.

Rehearsal are planned for the evenings of Sept. 7 and 8, with performances on Saturday evening, Sept. 9 and Sunday afternoon, Sept. 10. As an additional thank-you for your participation, we will also offer each participant a complimentary subscription to our 2006-07 season, featuring Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers.

Furthermore, if you know of other talented instrumentalists that might also be interested in participating in this event, I would be happy to know of them, or to have them contact me directly. Please feel free to forward this announcement as you deem appropriate, or drop me a note with any suggestions!

Photo of cute rescue puppy with captionsIn case you are still undecided about whether to sign on, I have shamelessly attached a photo of a NDSDF puppy. (Take a peek!) : )

Thanks for considering being a part of this charitable event. I look forward to hearing from you!

Warmest regards,
Christopher Kula
Artistic Director, Pacific Collegium


The Pacific Collegium Presents

A memorial benefit performance

In support of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

Christopher Kula, conductor
Tonia d’Amelio, soprano
Pacific Collegium
Pacific Boychoir


Finzi, Lo, the full, final sacrifice
Festival anthem for chorus and orchestra

Finzi, Dies natalis
For soprano solo and strings

Duruflé, Requiem
For soloists, chorus and orchestra

September 9, 7:30 p.m., St. Paul’s Episcopal, Oakland
September 10, 5 p.m., Trinity Episcopal, San Francisco

Duruflé’s orchestration of the Requiem is a marvel of the liturgical repertoire, as well as being a (the?) seminal work of the 20th century Gregorian chant revival. Lo, the full, final sacrifice is viewed by many as Finzi’s masterwork, though it is little widely known and virtually unheard in its lush orchestral version. A series of musical vignettes around the hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas: Adoro Te devote and Lauda Sion Salvatorem, set in English by the 17th century poet, Richard Crashaw, it is particularly celebrated for its final Amen in eight-part divisi. Dies natalis, also by Finzi, sets texts of another 17th century English poet, Thomas Traherne. Accompanied by string ensemble, this work explores in solo voice the innocent ecstasy of a newborn child discovering the world and its wonders anew.

I’m playing bass. The program sounds challenging, so if you’re feeling up to it then get in touch.