Skip navigation

Southern Miss Chorale Presents United States Premiere Locally and Tours Louisiana

Wed, 03/09/2022 - 10:35am | By: Mike Lopinto

The Southern ChoraleThe Southern Chorale and Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra present the American premiere of Richard Burchard’s Stabat Mater, Monday, March 21 at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg at 8 p.m.

The group will follow with performances on Tuesday, March 22 at The Abbey Church, Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary College in St. Benedict, La. at 1 p.m., and at The Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ Church at Loyola University in New Orleans at 8 p.m. All concerts are free, and the public is invited to attend.

“We are very excited about presenting this work in such worthy venues” said Dr. Gregory Fuller, director of choral activities at USM. “The setting of the Stabat Mater is perfect for the Lenten Season.  It is a sobering look at the Passion of Christ through the eyes of his mother as she witnesses the execution of her son.  Richard Burchard is a master at setting Latin text.  His use of voices and strings is lush and intense and will portray this sorrowful scene.”

The Stabat Mater is a medieval Latin hymn on the suffering of the Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion.

Burchard first came to Southern Miss in the spring of 2015 as a visiting composer. After working with Southern Miss choral ensembles, he proposed that Southern Miss premiere his setting of The Seven Last Words.

“Gregory Fuller is a master of interpretation and working with him and the Southern Miss choral program on a number of my works, the results were the things composers dream of” said composer Richard Burchard. “I didn’t want any other group to give the American premiere and recording of Stabat Mater, so I’m beyond excited to be collaborating with them again for another major work.”

After the 2016 premiere of The Seven Last Words, the ensembles toured with it to Carnegie Hall In Spring of 2018.  Burchard was commissioned to write “Cum laude ego canto” for The Southern Chorale at the Southern Region Conference of the American Choral Directors Association. That presentation was delayed due to COVID-19, but the piece was finally presented at the 2022 Southern Region Conference in Raleigh, NC.  It will also be presented on this Stabat Mater program.