Te Deum Chamber Choir, the organization’s original and all-volunteer ensemble, presented the concert “Universal Expressions.” The ensemble will present Poulenc’s Mass in G-major, Rheinberger’s Mass in E flat-major, and two original compositions commissioned especially for this concert. The concert explored how composers of different times and styles tried to express a similar truth regarding the beauty and glory of the creator, and how each work is both limited in what it can say from its own individual perspective and righteous in its attempt to express the truth. The commissioned works demonstrate a new and modern method of expressing a truth similar to that of the masses. The combined effect demonstrate that while one perspective of truth is inadequate to totally express that truth, the aggregation of perspectives is what will show the truth in its most revealing light. Te Deum Antiqua, a professional ensemble founded in the fall of 2013, presented the concert “A Mother’s Song.” This concert presented a mass comprised of early music works focusing on the Virgin Mary.
Both of Te Deum’s ensembles enrich Kansas City’s music environment. The Chamber Choir is arguably the finest volunteer choral ensemble in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Its membership includes many vocalists with professional experience in such professional ensembles as the Kansas City Chorale, Spire, and the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers. Many of the members hold advanced music degrees, and many are choral music educators. The Chamber Choir’s mission is to perform a diverse repertoire of sacred choral music in a uniquely relevant context to create a musically inspiring, spiritually stirring experience. The ensemble offers technically excellent and artistically nuanced performances of repertoire that is approachable for other volunteer ensembles such as church choirs and community ensembles, but also works that are less well known or neglected due to their difficulty. All of these elements, combined with the fact that the concerts were free to the public, provide a rich and diverse musical offering for the Kansas City area. Te Deum Antiqua’s mission is to provide Kansas City with a professional ensemble dedicated to historically informed performances of early music. This ensemble, whose members include some of Kansas City’s most well-respected choral musicians, devotes itself to the live presentations of early vocal music to foster a deeper appreciation amongst audiences for those characteristics and techniques that were so fundamental to the musical development of successive eras. Antiqua charges a modest admission fee for its concerts.
Over the past three years, Te Deum has produced at least four concerts a year, and has presented as many as four concerts in a single semester. In the spring of 2013, Te Deum presented J.S. Bach’s Mass in B-minor at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ Helzberg Hall to an audience of over 1,200. In the fall of 2013, Te Deum Antiqua made its premiere with two concerts in Kansas City, MO. With the addition of Antiqua, Te Deum anticipates that it will present between eight and ten concerts per year in the Kansas City area.
Te Deum’s mission is to present sacred choral music that is both musically gratifying and spiritually stirring. Through the development of new audiences for sacred music at the highest levels of refinement and beauty, Te Deum will uncover a distinct niche for outstanding sacred choral music in Kansas City.