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High Above the Stars

May 2016 • Major Choral Event In Dallas!

published 18 January 2016 by Dr. Alfred Calabrese

THIS EXCITING NEW major work by composer Frank La Rocca will receive its world premiere on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 8:00pm in Dallas, Texas:

A ROSE IN WINTER • The life of Saint Rita of Cascia

Dr. La Rocca’s 90-minute oratorio for chorus, orchestra, and soloists was commissioned by Saint Rita Catholic Church (URL) in Dallas, and is the brainchild of Alfred Calabrese, director of music at the parish. The original libretto is by Matthew Lickona. Four outstanding American soloists will take part in the world premiere:

SOPRANO — Melanie Sarakatsannis BARITONE — Sumner Thompson TENOR — Brian Downen BASS — Daniel Cole

The title role—that of Saint Rita—will be Ms. Sarakatsannis. The professional orchestra will be joined by the St. Rita Festival Choir, and the conductor will be Alfred Calabrese (BIO).

HE CONCERT on 21 May will be preceded by a three-day conference entitled “High Above the Stars: Sainthood, Beauty, and Catholic Artistic Expression.” The conference (May 19-21) is designed for musicians, artists, poets, theologians, and Catholic laity, and deals with the creation of sacred music and art, the promotion of beauty, and the quest for sainthood in everyday life.

Masterclasses will be held for conductors, composers, and poets. Speakers include: Carmen-Helena Téllez, (University of Notre Dame); David Clayton, artist, writer and educator, and a regular contributor to the New Liturgical Movement website; Ron and Kathryn Rombs (University of Dallas); and the Very Rev. Michael F. DiGregorio, O.S.A, Prior Provincial of the Augustinians of the Saint Thomas of Villanova Province. Fr. DiGregorio is the former director of the National Shrine of St. Rita in Philadelphia and pastor of the parish.

All are invited and encouraged to come to Dallas for this event. A website is being developed for the concert and conference. There you will be able to find registration materials, a complete schedule of events, biographies of all of the principle players, information on travel to and from Dallas, housing options, and fun things to do and see while you’re here. All proceedings will be held on the north Dallas campus of Saint Rita parish, which is a mere 15 minutes from DFWAirport.

Please join us in May for this tremendously exciting moment in the Catholic musical world!


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