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USM presents Maine premiere of Stephen Edwards’ Choral Masterwork “Requiem For My Mother”

Stephen Edwards

On Saturday evening, April 7, at Merrill Auditorium, the University of Southern Maine School of Music presented the Maine premiere of Stephen Edwards’ "Requiem For My Mother," a choral masterwork and grand community partnership bringing together USM students and alumni, 250 local singers, and the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra. USM's Nicolas Dosman, Director of Choral Studies, conduct​ed, and the evening opened featuring USM soloists: Stephanie Gilbert '09, soprano, Joshua Miller '13, baritone, and David Myers, tenor '19.

In a preview, Scott Andrews of The Forecaster described the show, "In terms of scale of production, this weekend’s biggest event will be the Maine premiere of Stephen Edwards’ “Requiem For My Mother,” a massive work for symphony orchestra and multiple choirs." 

USM joined forces with choral students from four local high schools, along with the USM Chamber Singers and University Chorale, the Southern Maine Children’s Chorus, Southern Maine Youth Chorale, and the Community Chorus at South Berwick to perform Edwards' choral masterwork. Three out of the four high school choral conductors who participated are current USM Master's in Choral Conducting students; the participating schools include Massabesic High School, Noble High School, Scarborough High School, and Yarmouth High School. The performance was the biggest production to date for Dosman, who conducted the Magic of Christmas in 2017. 

USM President Cummings expressed his admiration for the performance saying, "..Let me express my admiration for Music professor Nicolas Dosman whose superb conducting and leadership brought forth "Requiem for My Mother" at Merrill Auditorium on Saturday evening. The show brought the crowd, rightfully, to their feet. Congratulations to Professor Dosman and the many participants in Saturday's exceptional event..."

Edwards, a well known Hollywood composer, has scored more than 60 movies, from comedy to action, martial arts to documentaries. "Requiem For My Mother" is a powerful tribute to his mother, and mothers everywhere. After the death of his mother in 2006, Edwards was inspired to write the “Requiem” to honor the influence his mother had on his life, the main force behind his music. The concert debuted in Rome at Vatican City, and was featured in a PBS documentary that aired on Mother’s Day, May 2017. 

Back in 2012, USM's Dosman saw just a clip of what would become Edwards' full documentary about the creation of his piece “Requiem for My Mother” and its premiere in Vatican City. Seacoast Online detailed the background of how Dosman was introduced to this powerful choral work. 

The program opened with four solo performances by the USM 2018 Concerto Competition student honorees, accompanied by the full Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra.

The performing student Concerto Competition honorees included Josephine DiPhilippo, piano, performing the first movement of the “Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major (the “Emperor”)” by Ludwig van Beethoven; Aaron Emerson, oboe, performing “Pastorale for Oboe and Strings” by Howard Hanson; Ida Santos, soprano, performing "So anch’io la virtu magica​"​ from the opera​ "​Don Pasquale” by Gaetano Donizetti; and Rachel Shukan, soprano, performing “Kommt ein schlanker Bursch gegangen​"​ from the opera​ "​Der Freischütz” by Carl Maria von Weber.

Sponsored by University Credit Union
Supported in part by an Alfred Nash Patterson Grant from Choral Arts New England
USM Youth Ensembles Sponsored by Macy’s

Suggested Donation: $12 - $15 online or at the door. Seating is first come/first served, no reserved seating.

Contact Information:
USM Music Box Office
Lori Arsenault
loria@maine.edu
207-780-5555