Watch KFOR Live Interactive Radar

Canterbury Choral Society

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Come share in the experience of a lifetime, as Canterbury Choral Society and Oklahoma City University’s Wanda L. Bass School of Music premiere Leonard Bernstein’s MASS on April 13, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Music Hall.

A collaboration of Canterbury Choral Society and the Oklahoma City University Wanda L. Bass School of Music, MASS seeks the meaning and relevance of faith in an increasingly secular and noisy world. Sometimes humorous, occasionally bawdy, and at times profoundly moving, Bernstein’s masterpiece, based on the Roman Catholic liturgy, includes passages sung in Latin with additional texts in English by Bernstein, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, and Paul Simon. The work, scored for orchestra, marching and rock bands, actors, and dancers, also features rock, blues, Broadway, and classical music.

Scott Guthrie, native Oklahoman and 2001 OCU graduate will play the lead role as The Celebrant – The central character of the work, a Catholic priest who conducts the celebration of the Mass. The remainder of the cast will include current OCU music theatre students and dancers, the Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra and Canterbury’s Adult and Youth Choruses.

The piece was originally commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. MASS debuted at the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1971.

“With approximately 200 performers, including dancers, singers, a chorus, rock and blues singers, actors, two orchestras, as well as a marching band, MASS is a musical and theatrical experience,” said Randi Von Ellefson, Artistic Director for Canterbury Choral Society and Director of Choral Activities for Oklahoma City University at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music.

Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, will be travelling to Oklahoma to see the production as the piece is not reproduced very often. Replicating her father’s compulsion to share and teach, Jamie has devised several ways of communicating her own excitement about classical music. She is a frequent speaker on musical topics, including in-depth discussions of her father’s works. Jamie has also written and narrated concerts about Mozart and Aaron Copland, among others.

Jonathan Tunick, an American orchestrator, musical director, and composer and one of eleven people to have won all four major American show business awards: the Tony Awards, Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and Grammy Awards, will also be in attendance for the performance and will remain into the next week to receive an honorary doctorate from Oklahoma City University. He assisted with the orchestration on Leonard Bernstein’s MASS when it originally premiered in 1971.

“We are predicting a sell out for this concert,” said Executive Director, Dr. Kay Holt. “Not only because the piece is a premiere to Oklahoma but also because of Leonard Bernstein’s talent as a composer.”

Tickets may be purchased now through April 13, 2013 by calling 232-SING.

For more information on Canterbury Choral Society, please visit our website at or call us at 232-SING (7464.)