Press Release: Symphony continues Choral Collaborative tradition with Haydn works

OMAHA, Neb., October 31, 2019- The Omaha Symphony’s ground-breaking Choral Collaborative program returns with Joseph Haydn’s majestic masterwork, “Lord Nelson Mass,” Sunday, November 10, 2 p.m., at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Led by Principal Pops Conductor Ernest Richardson, the performance will feature a 400-voice chorus from selected Omaha-area high schools, and professional soloists Sarah Shafer, soprano; Samantha Gossard, mezzo-soprano; Anthony Webb, tenor; and Joseph Beutel, baritone. In addition to the Mass, the program will also include Haydn’s Te Deum for Empress Maria Therese.

Schools taking part in Choral Collaborative this year include Bellevue West, Bennington, Blair, Omaha Burke, Creighton Prep, and Papillion-LaVista.

The Omaha Symphony’s Choral Collaborative program brings high school vocal programs and the Omaha Symphony together in collaboration for a unique concert experience. Choral Collaborative affords students the opportunity to perform world-class repertoire, work with professional soloists, and participate in an intense learning and rehearsal process with the artistic staff of a professional orchestra. The students have been preparing the music with the schools’ choral directors and rehearsing with Chorusmaster, A. Barron Breland, Director of Choral Activities at Creighton University, and Richardson throughout the fall months. Richardson and the soloists will be visiting the schools in the week leading up to the concert for final rehearsals.

The students, soloists, and orchestra will gather for one mass rehearsal on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Holland Center. Media is invited to attend the rehearsal at 11 a.m.

Composed in 1899, Haydn’s Mass in D Minor reflected the anxious and tumultuous period when Napoleon posed a major threat to European stability. Haydn’s music is filled with virtuosic writing, depicting struggles both personal and historical. Though composed before Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated Napoleon at the Battle of the Nile, the Mass premiered around the same time, earning the “Lord Nelson” sobriquet. Haydn never used it, although he did express admiration for the British admiral, and Britain itself.

An interesting note about the “Lord Nelson” Mass is that the score does not contain any wind parts, as most wind players were reassigned to soldiering.

Haydn’s Te Deum, also included on this program, was composed to celebrate the name day of Empress Maria Therese, wife of Emperor Francis II of Austria. The Te Deum is a hymn of praise written about the same time period as Haydn’s Mass, eschewing soloists altogether in favor of three chorus movements.

Tickets to Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass start at $19. They can be purchased by visiting or by calling Ticket Omaha at 402.345.0606. Student Rush tickets are available one hour prior to the concert. Any student with a valid student ID may purchase up to two Student Rush tickets for $10 each.

Artists, dates, time, prices and availability are subject to change.

Sponsor for Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass are Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Memorial Foundation, Giger Foundation, and Midlands Community Foundation.

The Omaha Symphony is a non-profit organization that presents more than 100 live orchestral performances from September through June. In addition to MasterWorks, Symphony Pops, Symphony Rocks, Movies, Symphony Joslyn, and Family series concerts, the Omaha Symphonys nationally recognized education and community engagement programs touch the lives of more than 40,000 people each year. For tickets or information regarding the Omaha Symphony, call 402-345-0606 or visit


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Stephanie Ludwig

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