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Itasca music groups present ‘The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace’

Cello players perform at a concert.
Contributed
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Courtney Kerns
Cellists perform at Itasca Symphony Orchestra's concert on Feb. 17, 2024.

Itasca Orchestra Strings program director Pedro Oviedo and Itasca Choral Society artistic director Adam Gieber discuss their effort to combine music and film for a piece highlighting the atrocities of war.

GRAND RAPIDS — Combining a Catholic mass with 15th-century folk songs, musical talent will take to the Reif Center stage on Saturday, May 18, for “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.”

Choir members practice behind a piano player and director.
Contributed
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Itasca Community Chorus
Itasca Community Chorus members practice "The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace."

The Director of the Itasca Symphony Orchestra, Pedro Oviedo, and Itasca Choral Society Artistic Director Adam Giebner were recent guests on the KAXE Morning Show to talk about the upcoming performance.

“The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” was composed by Karl Jenkins as a tribute to the victims of 1998’s Kosovo crisis, but with the idea that war is, unfortunately, timeless.

“It shows everything: from the build up of the myths of war, the aftermath, and then, of course, the hope for a bright future and a better humanity after that,” Pedro said.

The collaboration between the orchestra and choir, Adam said, brings a different energy to the performing space.

Listen to Pedro and Adam on the KAXE Morning Show above!

“We're so used to just doing stuff in our own little corner. The orchestra does their orchestra thing and the choir does their choir thing. And it's just a cool synergy to have both groups together. And you listen differently. I think you perform differently,” Adam said.

A film will be played on a screen above the musicians while they perform. “The Armed Boy” was created by Robert and Thomas Cucuzza and is intended to correspond with the music, harmoniously.

Tickets are available online or at the Reif Center.


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Jennifer has worked at Northern Community Radio since 2006 and spent 17 years as Membership Manager. She shifted to a host/producer position in 2023. She hosts the Monday Morning Show and is the local host of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" a few days a week. She also writes public services announcements and creates web stories.