Oratorio Society of New York participates in Rome Festival of Sacred Music

November 10, 2011. The basilicas of Rome are currently being swept up in the festival of sacred music. Orchestras from around the world are arriving in order to take part.

One of them is the Oratorio Society of New York. Kent Tritle has been directing this group since 2005. He says that festivals can often serve as a way for the musicians to build their relationships and in turn help build their music.

Kent Tritle
Director, Oratorio Society of New York

“When you go on tour with a choir, there is something very special that happens. There is a very kind of amazing kind of camaraderie that becomes a connection that comes back to us in our music making so it's a very kind of a special thing that happens here.”

The group has been playing in the different basilicas of the Italian capital. But their main concert is at Rome's St. John Lateran. There they will perform the "Requiem" by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.

Director Tritle says the organs of the church will be featured in this piece by Saint-Saëns.

Kent Tritle
Director, Oratorio Society of New York

“A lot of music that he is really well known for, it's a great piece, it's for chorus orchestra, uses the organs, or the organ of St. John Lateran, it will use spacial placement for the trombones which are the last judgment. This is his requiem, it's a little known piece, but it's a wonderful, wonderful piece.”

Since this festival began in 2002 it has helped to raise money for the restoration of religious items and buildings.

With the help of the Oratorio Society of New York and other orchestras, this year's proceeds will go toward the restoration of the facade on St. Peter's Basilica as well as other parts of the Vatican.

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