Share This Page

Washington County arts choir, jazz guitarist team up

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
Arnie Brock, Artistic Director for the Washington County Arts Choir leads a rehearsal of the choir at Faith Community Church Lakeside, Monday, November 12, 2012. The choir's upcoming show will feature compositions by Pittsburgh jazz musician, Joe Negri. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Washington County Arts Choir member Sherry Gross sings along the choir during a rehearsal of at Faith Community Church Lakeside, Monday, November 12, 2012. The choir's upcoming show will feature compositions by Pittsburgh jazz musician, Joe Negri. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Joe Negri Credit: Joe Negri

The Washington County Arts Choir will accompany Pittsburgh jazz guitarist Joe Negri in the first performance of his new composition, “Magnificat,” this weekend in Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair.

Based on Mary's adoration of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, the choir will perform the piece in concert with Negri's earlier composition, the “Mass of Hope.”

“It's got such a beautiful text, that's what attracted me to it,” said Negri, 86, of Scott, who began writing his version of the Magnificat two years ago. The text has also been made into music by composers that include Johann Sebastian Bach, Monteverdi and Vivaldi, he said.

In Luke Chapter 1 verses 46-55, the Virgin Mary is speaking to her cousin Elizabeth — mother to John the Baptist — about her faith.

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

“For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name,” she sings.

Negri, who attended St. Justin Roman Catholic Church in Mt. Washington, began writing the Mass of Hope in the late 1990s. He started with a few small parts of the Catholic Mass, written to be sung by a soloist and accompanied by piano, guitar, bass and drums.

Working with choirs at Duquesne and Chatham universities, he eventually expanded it to encompass most parts of the Mass not spoken directly by the priest.

The Mass of Hope can be used in a liturgy and can also be performed as a concert, as it will be Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Negri said.

He will be accompanied by vocal soloists Maureen Budway and Thomas Douglas; Max Leake on keyboards; Paul Thompson on bass and Tom Wendt on drums.

“We're really looking forward to it,” said Cindy Taylor, vice president of the choir and organizer for much of the concert.

“It's just a real honor to have (Negri) there, to have his input on the ‘Magnificat.'”

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.