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Give peace a chance: Santa Clarita Master Chorale performs

Posted: March 29, 2008 2:53 p.m.
Updated: May 29, 2008 5:03 a.m.
A haunting work by Welshman Karl Jenkins, The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace, headlines the spring concert on Sunday, March 30 with two performances, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Chorale will be joined by choirs from Valencia, Canyon and West Ranch high schools, as well as College of the Canyons to perform this multicultural work, already a sensation in Europe.

Featuring orchestra, choirs and solo voices, this work will be offered in honor and memory of our war veterans. There will be a lecture by Artistic Director Allan Robert Petker at 6:00 p.m.

Featuring orchestra, choirs and solo voices, this work will be dedicated in honor and memory of our war veterans. Complimentary tickets will be offered to those who have served or who are serving our country.
The Armed Man begins with a cryptic warning of danger and moves into calls to prayer in Arabic from an Islamic muezzin, in Latin from the Catholic Mass, and in English from Rudyard Kipling, John Dryden and Japanese poet and Hiroshima survivor, Toge Sankichi.

We also hear the Old Testament psalmist pray for God to "save me from angry men." The work shares disturbing remembrances of war from ancient India to modern Japan and Europe. At the end, it reaches across cultures in its final call to a lasting peace where "all tears shall be wiped away and there shall be no more death."

Concertgoers may find this work mysteriously moving: it is alternately tender and shocking. The audience will hear the poignant tension between our hunger for peace and the honor that can also be present in war: the ultimate sacrifice of life itself for a cause you believe is just.

"Because of the depth this work enables us to experience, it gives great honor to those who have put themselves in harm's way," Petker said. "It doesn't mask the horrors they have witnessed and endured on our behalf."

Jenkins may be known to some music lovers from his work with the Soft Machine, an experimental jazz effort, and perhaps best known for his cascading string arrangement on the television ads for DeBeers Diamonds.

In their salutes to Jenkins' work, reviewers in Europe have called this latest effort "a courageous examination of war and peace expressed in bold musical compositions."

Chorale concerts are sponsored, in part, by grants from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the City of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

The Chorale's performance home is the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons (COC), 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Santa Clarita.

General admission prices are $26, $22 and $19 with senior and student, $ discounts of $17 and $14. Tickets may be purchased online at E-mail to, or call 254-8886 for more information.


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