Directed by Peppie Calvar. Featuring the Parish Choir of St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Charlotte NC & the Northwest School of the Arts High School Choirs.
Vocal soloists (in order of appearance)
Saeshan Carter, Baritone (Credo, Credo Reprise)
Jacob Caceres-Reyes, Baritone (He Suffered)
Louis Smith, Narrator (He Suffered)
Clayton Stephenson, Tenor (He Rose, Go In Peace)
Sydra Yarnell, Mezzo-Soprano (Go In Peace)
Chris Mitchell, Alto Sax (solos on Kyrie, Sanctus, and Go In Peace)
Marcus Jones, Alto Sax (solos on Gloria, Sanctus and Go In Peace)
Ryan Saranich, Tenor Sax (solos on Gloria, Credo, and Sanctus)
Patrick Brown, Tenor Sax
John Page, Baritone Sax
James “Bull” Canty, Trumpet (solos on Sanctus)
Kevin Day, Trumpet (solos on Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Go In Peace)
Arabo Bey, Trumpet
Jeremiah Wryals, Trumpet
Garrett Young, Trombone (solos on He Suffered)
Jerry Lowe, Trombone
Ricardo Garcia, Trombones (solos on Gloria)
Lucas Hulett, Bass Trombone (solos on He Suffered)
Luther Allison, Piano (solos on Gloria, Credo, He Suffered, Sanctus)
Mark Johnson, Bass
Michael D’Angelo, Drums (solos on Kyrie, Credo, Sanctus)
Raul Delpozo Castro, Guitar (solos on Kyrie, Agnus Dei, Go In Peace)
Audio Engineered by Jeff Apthorp, Sound Amazing.
Recorded live in performance at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Charlotte NC, May 11th, 2013.
The conception of the Mass of Reconciliation began in my apartment at East Carolina in 2001, after an amazing experience having my first premiere of an orchestral work by the Charlotte Symphony under the direction of David Tang, and several attempts at sacred music in the jazz style performed at St. Matthew in Charlotte with jazz orchestras comprised of my best musical friends. The first compositions in 2001 were the Kyrie, Credo, and He Suffered, after which the project was suspended until 2004, when I met Ryan Saranich and Michael D’Angelo, who at the time were seniors at Northwest. When I realized that these two youngsters had the talent, connections, and motivation to produce this project, the rest of the Mass came together rather quickly.
Duke Ellington’s First Sacred Concert had a profound influence on the Mass’ conception. My mother first introduced me to it in 2002, and I immediately fell in love with this marriage of jazz, choral, and sacred elements. Having been raised Catholic and rather disappointed with the quality of music in my own church when compared to others (especially of other Christian denominations), part of the overall goal of this piece was to present new music to Catholics not necessarily for liturgical use, but rather to marry the church’s rich musical and textual heritage with some modern musical elements I had never heard in my church before. The three elements, jazz, choral, and sacred, were the perfect union of my favorite parts of my musical life at home, at school, and at church, respectively.
Like many pieces from the classical repertoire that have influenced my composition (thinking primarily of Requiem settings by Brahms and Rutter), this Mass setting diverts from time to time from the actual text of the Mass Ordinary. All of these departures happen in what would be the “Credo” of the Mass, which is divided into five movements in the Mass of Reconciliation: the two “Credo” movements, “For Us”, “He Suffered”, and “He Rose”. Some of the diversions from the text, especially in the first “Credo” movement are associated with the recent change in the English translation of the Roman Missal. At its original conception, these diversions were actually part of the Mass text in English. I echo the sentiments of my composer colleagues who have found that adapting their existing musical settings to the new text have left their music sounding labored and awkward. Since I knew my piece was intended for concert use and not for the liturgy, I have left many textual phrases in tact. The word “consubstantial”, not having existed in the first edition, now appears in this second edition to honor the new translation. “He Suffered” includes text from Matthew 27:51-54, and “He Rose” contains an original text.
This revised version of the Mass of Reconciliation features some significant changes to the choral parts from its premiere version in 2005 at Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte NC. I’ve found that, similar to the Ellington, the text is more discernable when the choir sings in fewer parts and does not conflict with the band. The instrumental parts are virtually unaltered; the only changes reflect the successful ideas of the 2005 band placed into the score, and a few simplifications eliminating the French horn in the original orchestration.
I am grateful to my friends and teachers who have inspired my compositional career, especially Robin and Kent Love, as well as the students of Northwest School of the Arts and the music ministry of St. John Neumann, who have made this new production possible. (PC)
Peppie Calvar is the Assistant Director of Choral Activities at Syracuse University. His duties include directing the Hendricks Chapel Choir and teaching freshman music theory. Formerly, Calvar served as high school choral director and music theory instructor at Northwest School of the Arts and Director of Music at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, both in Charlotte. Calvar holds the D.M.A. degree in choral conducting from the University of South Carolina. He also studied at Georgia State University and East Carolina University. He performs frequently as a baritone both as He has performed as a percussionist before the American Bandmasters Association as a member of the Olde English Wind Ensemble from Winthrop University, and as a soloist for the Charlotte Symphony and the All State choirs of North Carolina. He has collaborated in Jazz recordings as a vocalist, percussionist and pianist. An accomplished composer, many of his choral compositions are published by Colla Voce Publications and performed worldwide. He serves as a reader for the AP exam in Music Theory. Calvar is an active member of MENC, ACDA, ASCAP, and NPM.