Brahms Requiem, other concerts to be last for longtime AC choral professor
by Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
A trio of concerts will be the final notes at Amarillo College for Steven Weber, the music department chair and director of choral activities.
Weber, who joined the faculty 24 years ago and was named department chair in 2013, announced his AC resignation in January. He’ll start the next school year at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview as director of choir and professor of choral education.
“I wasn’t really looking for another job. It really was a God thing – it sounds like such a cliché, but it really was,” Weber said.
Weber’s Amarillo Master Chorale is up first on the farewell tour, performing in collaboration with West Texas A&M University choirs and orchestra at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in WT’s Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall.
The combined ensembles will perform Johannes Brahms’ German Requiem.
“A requiem is a mass for the dead, but really, this is … for the living, to comfort the living,” Weber said. “It’s quite beautiful.”
The performance also will feature soprano soloist Suzanne Ramo and baritone soloist Kyle Pullen. WT assistant music professor Sean Pullen will conduct.
“Brahms’ requiem is, to me, perhaps the greatest choral orchestral work ever composed,” Sean Pullen said. “It basically exemplifies all that you would expect from Brahms – beautiful sonorities within the work and wonderful harmonies.”
Tickets are $5; call 806-651-2840 for reservations.
Weber said he didn’t realize when he began organizing this concert with Sean Pullen that it would be his last with the chorale, formerly known as the Amarillo Civic Chorus and affiliated with AC since 1985.
“I’m so happy we’re doing it as my last concert because it’s such a great piece of music, but at the same time, it’s a little weird that I’m not conducting the last (chorale concert). But there’s a good part, too. It takes a lot of stress off of me.
“We’ve had a great run,” Weber continued. “We’ve done some amazing things over the 24 years I’ve been here, and I hope they continue doing great things. They’ll hire a new director of choral activities … and that person will continue what we’ve started.”
Pullen said he’s happy that the requiem will factor into Weber’s farewell to AC.
“It’s appropriate that he’s able to finish his time with the Amarillo Master Chorale with one of his favorites,” Pullen said. “He’s a great musician to work with, and I’m looking forward to working with him more in the future.”
Following the Brahms requiem, Weber will participate in an AC jazz ensemble concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the AC Concert Hall Theatre. The instrumental jazz ensemble and the vocal jazz ensemble Final Mix will perform as a preview of their performances at the Greeley Jazz Festival at the University of Northern Colorado. The concert is free.
And finally, the AC Concert Choir will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 28 at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 4317 W. Interstate 40, ahead of its tour to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M. The concert is free.