Tucson Masterworks Chorale

Tucson Masterworks Chorale is Southern Arizona's oldest community chorus, now in our 74th year. We strive to make the great masterworks of choral literature accessible to singers and audience members from all walks of life.
About Tucson Masterworks Chorale

The Tucson Masterworks Chorale (TMC) is the oldest independent choral arts organization in Southern Arizona. We continue a proud tradition that began in 1949 with a group of 18 singers; Samuel Goddard (later governor of Arizona) was our first president. As we approach our 75th anniversary in 2024, TMC is carrying on our tradition of performing the great masterworks of choral literature, from pre-Baroque to contemporary. We are proud to welcome singers of all ages and abilities.
With Artistic Director, Luke Diamond and Accompanist, Russell Ronnebaum, we continue to grow musically and to encourage cultural participation in our community.

Norb Promo, President
Preferred Pronouns: he/his
A Celebration of Women Composers: Ethel Smyth, Clara Schumann, Fanny Hensel, and more!
Music, She Wrote

TMC is proud to present Music, She Wrote, a celebration of women composers for our Spring 2022 concert. The works of master composers Ethel Smyth, Fanny Hensel, Clara Schumann and Amy Beach receive some of the recognition they deserve. Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D in particular is an impressive piece that is not well known. Enjoy!

This setting of Lux Aeterna, composed by our accompanist Russell Ronnebaum, is dedicated to the members of Tucson Masterworks Chorale and was virtually premiered during the pandemic in 2021.
Lux Aeterna

Notes from the composer: In 2020 the world was shut down
and we were all sheltering in place. To the best of our collective
abilities, we as a chorus made the monumental shift to the
new frontier of the virtual choir. The program for that Spring
was themed Sing Darkness to Light, and I was very eager to
contribute an original work that would be both satisfying and
accessible to sing in the virtual choir format.
Considering the theme of Light, I came upon the text of the
Lux Aeterna from the Catholic Requiem Mass, which is a
Mass for the repose of the souls of the dead. I was particularly
inspired by the concept of perpetual light. I captured this
by always having a ‘beam’ or line of sound present. Overall,
the piece carries a mood of quiet contemplation with soaring
melodies that weave from one part to another. The ending
section of Amen(s) serves as a soothing resolution that our
prayer has been heard.

Palestrina is the most well know composer from the Roman school, a polyphonic tradition that flourished in southern Italy in the 16th century. TMC performed this in April, 2022.
Sicut Cervus/Sitivit Anima written by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Palestrina is the most well-known composer from the Roman school, a polyphonic tradition that flourished in southern Italy in the 16th century. His personal style more or less defines that movement. These pieces are gorgeous examples of Palestrina’s oeuvre, which is representative of stile antico, or prima prattica, meaning the music of the Renaissance era in which polyphony was used to heighten the intensity of the text. It is characterized by a strict structure built on clear points of imitation, uninterrupted by cadences. The listener may hear three melodic themes which are taken up by each voice in turn: a rising one on sicut cervus, one on ita desiderat that falls and then rises again – and a last, falling theme on anima mea. They are ornamented and elaborated as each voice takes them up. Sicut cervus desiderat cervus ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus. Sitivit anima mea ad Deum fortem, vivum; quando veniam et apparebo ante faciem Dei? As the deer panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

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