YC Performing Arts presents Cathedral Classics

The Women's Chorale will perform in the Cathedral Classics concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22, at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. (Courtesy)

The Women's Chorale will perform in the Cathedral Classics concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22, at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. (Courtesy)

Yavapai College Performing Arts is working to make the Performing Arts Center sound more like a cathedral this weekend.

It’s for Cathedral Classics, a performance featuring the Master Chorale, directed by Darrell Rowader, and the Women’s Chorale, directed by Arlene Hardy, and refers to music originally written for the great cathedrals of Europe, Rowader said.

“We titled it that, certainly we’re performing it in a theater, so it’s not a cathedral, but we’re trying to simulate the effects of a cathedral by trying to make the sound cathedral-like,” he said. “We’re presenting it as closely as possible as to how it would have presented in Mozart’s time.”

The Women’s Chorale will include church music while the Master Chorale presents mixed voices performing Mozart’s “Coronation Mass,” Rowader said. Written for the Catholic Mass, it’s not all that long, only about 35 minutes or so, he said. However, its portions were meant to be used in various stages of the Mass, Rowader said.

Starting at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22, tickets are $17 general admission with admission for youths 18 and under free. Clocking in at about an hour and 15 minutes without intermission, it’s presented as something that will make the audience feel like they’re in a cathedral, Rowader said.

One of the main challenges in putting the concert together has been getting the performing arts department to accept the expense of an orchestra, he said.

“If you’re going to present Mozart’s coronation mass, usually in a college situation, they’ll do and play it at the piano but I wanted it to be exactly as it’s meant to be heard,” Rowader said. “Without really any argument, they said that’ll be great.”

Another challenge is getting a choir that can sing the piece well and the Master Choir has been up to the challenge, he said. It’s roughly under 50 singers, which is the number needed to perform it justice and they’re quality singers, Rowader said. They have to be because there’s no time to teach technique, but they’re all ready to give a very good rendition of the “Coronation Mass,” he said.

There’s also having a good accompanist that gives an orchestra feeling while in rehearsal to help the singers prepare, something that is sometimes hard to find, Rowader said.

“To me those are the things that you need in order to do such an undertaking like this. Financial support, emotional support from the head of the department, good choir, good accompanist and I could always use more time,” he said. “We could easily have rehearsed four times a week and been even more involved with it and probably do it from memory.”

Tickets are available online at www.ycpac.ticketforce.com or at the door. For more information, call the box office at 928-776-2000 or 877-928-4253.