04-03-13-cos.gifAs any great musician knows, it takes time to master an instrument, and the oldest musical instrument in the entire world is the human voice. For centuries people have used their unique vocal cords to sing for many different reasons. This natural instrument could be used for religious praise, passing on history or for entertainment purposes. On April 13, at Methodist University the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and the Cumberland Oratorio Singers will come together with college and community choirs for a spring performance that is sure to energize the soul. In recent years the FSO and the Cumberland Oratorio Singers have combined forces to bring first-class performances to the community.

The Cumberland Oratorio Singers consists of 75 adults, all of whom are unique in their backgrounds and experiences; and each has mastered their God-given instrument, their voice. There is more to oratorio than just singing. By definition oratorio is “a musical composition for voices and orchestra, telling a sacred story without costumes, scenery or dramatic action.”

This style of performing is of Italian origin, and can be traced back directly to an Italian concert hall from the 16th century. The Cumberland Oratorio Singers embrace their centuries-old musical roots, but are not limited in performance style. The group has an extensive repertoire that includes classical secular styling’s, contemporary classical works, masses and traditional oratorios and show or pop music.

The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1956 and is the oldest continuously-funded orchestra in North Carolina. Under the direction of Dr. Fouad Fakhouri, the orchestra performs throughout the community several times a year, including several free performances.

On April 13, the members of the orchestra will perform The Symphony of Psalms, which was created by the composer Stravinsky. This piece was composed in the 1930s and is named after the verses of the book of Psalms that are used in the choral pieces of the performance.

The program will culminate with Gustav Mahler’s powerful Symphony No. 1 in D Major.The joint performance the Cumberland Oratorio and the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra will be held at Reeves Auditorium on the campus of Methodist University, which is located at 5400 Ramsey St., on April 13 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door.

For more information about the event or about ticket availability, contact Margarette Kelly at 482-0006. She can also be reached by email at mkelly5733@nc.rr.com. Further event information can also be found at the website www.singwithcos.org. Find out more about the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra at www.fayettevillesymphony.org.

Photo: Gustav Mahler

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