Monrovia’s St. Luke’s to Host ‘FrankenMass’ Musical Event

The award-winning San Gabriel Valley Choral Company (SGVCC) invites the public to attend a musical tribute on Nov. 2—the traditional Feast of All Souls. “FrankenMass,” spinning off the Halloween spirit in a tip of the baton to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein monster, will be a presentation of the parts of the Mass from diverse musical eras and disciplines, resulting in the performance of a spiritually uplifting “whole,” from Kyrie to Dismissal. “FrankenMass” will be performed in the sanctuary of the historic St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Monrovia at 7:30 p.m., Saturday night, November 2.

“FrankenMass” will feature works from the Middle Ages through 20th century, including Guillaume de Machaut’s 14th Century “Ite missa est” (the mass is ended), possibly the first piece of its kind formally set to music. Other selections will be “Kyrie” from Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem; “Gloria” from “Missa Kenya” by Paul Basler (described as fusing Kenyan music with 20th century classical forms); “Credo” by Joseph Haydn; a Renaissance era “Sanctus” from “Mass for 3 Voices” by William Byrd composed in the time of Queen Elizabeth I; and the haunting “Agnus Dei” from Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem” composed in the late 19th Century. There is also a prelude to the mass, “Asperges me” by 16th Century Portuguese composer Filipe de Magalhãesa, typically sung during the Pascal season due to its themes of requesting cleansing and blessing.

SGVCC’s Artistic Director is Ukranian-born conductor Dr. Alexandra Grabarchuk, who holds a doctorate from the UCLA Department of Musicology. Her wide range of interests (from Renaissance polyphony to traditional Balkan singing to Russian pop music) has lent its flavors to the musical selections she makes for SGVCC. She shares her conducting and rehearsal assignments with Associate Advisor Dr. David Rentz, who is an associate professor of music at Chaffey College and has taught and conducted choral ensembles at such notable universities as Yale and the Scripps Colleges. Both Dr. Rentz and Dr. Garbarchuk have served as co-conductors of C3LA (Contemporary Choral Collecive of Los Angeles).  

SGVCC has been bringing stunning choral music to the community since 1995. SGVCC’s mission is to connect singers and audiences through accessible and diverse programming, quality performances, and community service. SGVCC envisions a world elevated through the power of song. For more information, visit sgvccsingers.org. The San Gabriel Valley Choral Company (SGVCC) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Tickets for “FrankenMass,” are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and students, and $5 for children 12 and younger. SGVCC is committed to welcoming all music lovers, regardless of ability to pay full ticket price. Advance tickets may be purchased online at sgvccsingers.org, or by sending checks payable to: SGVCC, 2648 E. Workman Ave., Ste. 3001 #312, West Covina, CA 91791. Tickets purchased online by Nov. 1 will be eligible for a $5 discount. Tickets will also be available at the door.

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