Friday, March 20, 2009

Misa Tariro: Mass of Hope bridges cultures

March 22, 3pm
Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E. Hampden Ave., Englewood
Tickets: 303-987-7845 or 303-987-7876 or

A compelling new work of power and beauty, commissioned by the Boulder Chorale, Randall McIntosh’s Misa Tariro (Mass of Hope) combines texts of the traditional Latin mass with sacred Shona poetry. In a performancs dedicated to the plight of those living with AIDS in Africa, Kutandara Marimba will combine with voices of the Colorado Chorale to present Misa Tariro this Sunday, March 22. A variety of selections from the Chorale and Kutandara Marimba are also on the program.


Work on the Misa Tariro began in 2001, shortly after contemporary Colorado composer and Kutandara music director Randall (“Randy”) Seaton McIntosh returned from Zimbabwe. While there Randy attended ceremonies and witnessed how villages use music to create community.

After experiencing an all-night ceremony, Randy wanted to capture the flow of energy and responsive spirit of this type of music and worship in a major composition of appropriate depth and scope. He saw parallels between the Shona ceremonies and the spiritual journey of a Mass.

But beyond the wonderful musical form, beyond the energetic zeal of the instruments and his hopes to widen the horizons of musical capabilities for musicians, singers, and audiences alike, Randy stresses that the ultimate inspiration for this work lies in the impressive resiliency of the Zimbabwean peoples in the face of their unbelievable hardships:

"My friends and colleagues in Zimbabwe live a much different life than I do: today, everyone in Zimbabwe is suffering. Life expectancy for is 37. Inflation is horrendous. AIDS has taken over 40 percent of the population. There is no gas. There is no food. Towns the size of Boulder have orphanages with thousands of children in residence. Every year I receive news from friends that not one or two, but several members of the family have passed away. Yet they go on. The joy of my composition is the artistic expression of the joy of the Zimbabwean—and human---spirit. This continues to live and love, give thanks, make music and dance and somehow persevere. That is why I have named it Misa Tariro: Mass of Hope."

--Randy McIntosh

Other music performances this weekend include Boulder Philharmonic, "Awakening the Imagination" Macky Auditorium on March 21 at 7:30pm; and Boulder Philharmonic String Quartet family concert, at Boulder Public Library on March 22 at 4pm.

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