Masterworks concert

Masterworks concert also includes competition

Composer Ola Gjeilo’s “Sunrise Mass” and high school seniors vying for music scholarships will be featured at Bluffton University’s Masterworks Concert on Sunday, Feb. 23, in Yoder Recital Hall. Admission to the 2:30 p.m. concert is free; a free-will offering will be taken to help defray concert expenses.

Dr. Mark J. Suderman, a professor of music, will conduct the University Chorale, the Bluffton Choral Society and a community chamber orchestra in their performance of “Sunrise Mass.”

The Norwegian-born Gjeilo, who now spends much of his time in the United States, wrote the piece in 2008. The 30-minute work “makes use of the bulk of the Latin Mass text, but contains English titles (The Spheres, Sunrise, The City, Identity and The Ground) to convey the composer’s musical movement from transparent to more earthly and grounded,” Suderman says. “This is projected as a metaphor for human development in life, as on a spiritual journey.”

Also on the program will be performances by high school finalists competing for music scholarships in Bluffton’s Performing Scholar Competition. The scholarships range in value from $3,000-$20,000 and will be renewable annually.

Eight to 10 high school seniors from as far away as Minnesota are expected on campus to participate. Sunday’s performers will be chosen by Bluffton music faculty on the basis of auditions, which include personal interviews with faculty members.