MU concert dedicated to music man Harry Morrison

Sunday, November 14, 2010 | 3:53 p.m. CST; updated 9:30 p.m. CST, Sunday, November 14, 2010

COLUMBIA — After Harry Morrison died in September, a member of MU's Choral Union and a friend of Morrison's suggested the ensemble dedicate an upcoming performance of Faure's "Requiem" to the longtime music professor.

“He was an influential and active member in the community and here at MU,” said Paul Crabb, director of choral activities.

If you go

What: A concert by MU's Choral Union and the University Philharmonic, including dedication of Faure's "Requiem" to the late Harry Morrison.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Jesse Auditorium, MU

Admission: $17

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On Thursday, the Choral Union, University Singers and the University Philharmonic will perform the work.

“It’s a nice moment to see this continuation," Crabb said. "All people being a part of this art is a tribute to Harry. People from 18 to their 80s participate in this choir. It's something that everyone can be a part of."

The piece, Crabb said, "is optimistic, comforting and a positive reflection about the afterlife. I think it fits Harry well."

Morrison died Sept. 4 of cancer.

A key solo in the "Requiem" belongs to Benjamin Froeschle, an eighth-grader at Columbia Independent School.

Benjamin, 14, practices at home five times a week and has weekly voice lessons to prepare for the piece. He has been singing in the Canterbury Choir at Calvary Episcopal Church since the third grade.

Benjamin's voice was noticed as the choir got smaller. He was asked to perform solos and started taking voice lessons.

“I listen to classical jazz and rock, but I like singing classical a lot,” Benjamin said. “It’s really beautiful music that’s great to listen to and fun to sing.”

Benjamin, who is a member of the Missouri Symphony Society Children's Choir, said he’s both nervous and excited to sing the solo dedicated to Morrison.

“When I was just considered, I was worried that my voice may change because it was during the summer,” Benjamin said. “But after I practiced with Dr. Crabb, I was excited I got it. It’s a pretty big piece, and he (Morrison) was a great guy.”

Also on the program is another piece by Faure — his "Cantique de Jean Racine" — and Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms."

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