Michael Bergeron
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An Afternoon of Hope: Music in Memoriam of the Orlando Shooting

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A benefit for victims of the recent Orlando Pulse tragedy offers a memorable classical concert performance by some of Houston’s leading musicians, combined with a silent auction benefiting local charities.

An Afternoon of Hope: Music in Memoriam of the Orlando Shooting takes place this coming Sunday at the St. Thomas Presbyterian Church.

In a two-act scenario a small ensemble will perform select classical pieces, followed by a rendition of Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor. The performers include soprano Pheobie Willis, alto Monica Isomura, tenor Brian Yeakley, and bass Austin Hoeltzel. The performance is conducted by Andrew Schneider and Michael Vaughan.

The event is free to the public with all donations going to the non-profit organizations Pulse Tragedy Fund in Orlando, Florida and Homeless Gay Kids – Houston

A silent auction will be conducted throughout the duration of the event. Bidding for respective items will conclude at the end of the second act. This is a worthy cause and the people spearheading the event are at once altruistic and concerned for the well being of all parties involved.

Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor was a commissioned work that Mozart had been hired to complete in the months before he himself died at age thirty-five. The work was unfinished at his untimely passing. Mozart’s amanuensis Franz Xaver Süssmayr delivered a completed version to Count Franz von Walsegg who had hired Mozart in the first place to write a composition to commemorate the death of his wife, who herself had passed on February 14.

Even at the end of the Eighteenth Century Valentine’s Day was an established day of romance and sacrifice. Many early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. What a ambivalent bummer to have your wife die on such a date and yet have enough scratch to hire the preeminent artist du jour to write a song about said tragedy.

An Afternoon of Hope: Music in Memoriam of the Orlando Shooting” takes place at the St. Thomas Presbyterian Church (14100 Memorial Drive) on Sunday, July 17 from 2 to 4 pm.