Stambaugh Chorus to mark 60th anniversary

Staff report


Stambaugh Chorus will mark its 60th anniversary with a concert Sunday that will feature “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.” The Youngstown Area Community Concert Band will accompany the chorus.

The concert will mark the first time “The Armed Man,” which was written by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, will be performed in Ohio, according to chorus president Barb Modic. The one-hour piece alternates between the sounds of war and elements of the Latin Mass.

It begins with the descent into war, interspersed with moments of reflection; shows the horrors that war brings; and ends with the hope for peace.

The text incorporates words from religious and historical sources, including the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible and the Mahabharata. Writers whose words appear in the work include Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Sankichi Toge, who survived the Hiroshima bombing but died some years later of leukemia.

Chorus director Hae-Jong Lee of the Dana School of Music selected “The Armed Man” because of his desire to promote world peace.

Participating in the concert will be the Youngstown Area Community Concert Band, under the direction of Joe Pellegrini. Soloists will be Kayla Wilson, soprano; Rachael Pavloski, mezzo- soprano; Victor Cardamone, tenor; and David Pratt and Raymond Wagner Jr., baritones. Featured cellist will be Father Vit Fiala.

Stambaugh Chorus was formed in 1952 with the establishment of the Youngstown Community Chorus, and has undergone several name changes throughout the years.

It became an affiliate of the Youngstown Symphony Society in 1967 as the Youngstown Philharmonic Chorus. In 1969, the chorus participated in the inaugural performance at the grand re-opening of the Warner Theater. In 1974 the name was changed to the Youngstown Symphony Chorus.

In 2007, the Youngstown Symphony Chorus was invited by Stambaugh Auditorium to continue its mission of promoting the art of choral music in the Mahoning Valley under a new roof. Its name was changed to Stambaugh Chorus.

The chorus has more than 50 members ranging from college students to octogenarians. A love of music, the ability to carry a tune, and a willingness to learn is the only requirement to join, said Modic.

Kathy Miller is the accompanist, and Eunjoo Kim is the assistant to the director.

The chorus’s activities for the 2013-14 season include participating in the Stambaugh Auditorium Hymn Festival in September; Opera Western Reserve’s presentation of Puccini’s “La Boheme” in November; and Carols and Cocoa Holiday Concert in December.

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