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Soloist Rosalind Lee sings a movement from John Rutter’s Requiem as North Shore Coral Society’s Music Director Julia Davids conducts.

The North Shore Choral Society sang the music of composer John Rutter at First Presbyterian Church, 1427 Chicago Ave., in Evanston, this Sunday.

Soloist Rosalind Lee, Music Director Julia Davids and Assistant Conductor Tierra Whetstone-Christian take a bow at the end of the North Shore Choral Society’s concert. Credit: Susy Schultz

The choir sang four pieces by the modern English composer, including Toccata in 7, A Ukrainian Prayer, The Lord Bless and Keep You and the seven-movement Requiem, which closed out the late-afternoon event. 

Appropriately titled Lux, the concert was not only illuminating but as the music soared through the sanctuary and out into the pews, sunlight occasionally poured through the large, colorful stained glass windows in the church. At the music’s end, the masked audience rose to their feet in loud applause. 

After the performance, sopranos Elise Marren (left) and Showling Liao-LeMasters chat. Credit: Susy Schultz

The soprano soloist, Rosalind Lee, brought a gifted interpretation to the music, and the chorus beautifully followed the conductor and also brought a depth and breadth to what they were singing.

But, then, it was a concert two years in the making. 

“We had originally planned to do this program in 2020, but that was not possible,” said Music Director Julia Davids, who conducted much of the music with help from Assistant Conductor Tierra Whetstone-Christian. 

Mezzo soprano and Associate Conductor Tierra Whetstone-Christian takes a bow at the North Shore Choral Society concert. Credit: Susy Schultz

“This is a requiem,” Davids said. “And after two years of loss in this pandemic, I think it is appropriate. This requiem is particularly hopeful and filled with light. I think it is uplifting.”

“It’s so beautiful,” said Sharon Rich Peterson, the group’s organist. “Yet it laments and we all still need to lament and yet have hope. It is so healing and we need to heal.” 

It was a concert of mourning, yet it was filled with light and great beauty. 

From left: Corey Anderson, David Betzold and Sarah Schwartzer all sing with the North Shore Choral Society. Credit: Susy Schultz

Susy Schultz

Susy Schultz is the editor of the Evanston Roundtable. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and is the former president of Public Narrative, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching journalists and...

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