Welcome Springtime with the World Premiere of James Knox’s Pura Lux Mass

(Photo | Courtesy of Cascade Chorale)

The Cascade Chorale, in two concerts this weekend on March 16 and 17, will present the world premiere of new music, Pura Lux Mass written specifically for the Chorale by Bend’s own composer James Knox.

The new work, Pura Lux Mass, places traditional sacred texts to sweeping contemporary motifs.  Pura Lux translates to “pure light” and is a fitting image for a concert poised on the transition from long winter to spring.  Composer James Knox says, “Composing a Mass has long been a personal goal and a big step in my journey as a composer. For many years, ideas for melodies would return to me for parts and pieces of a mass and in 2018 these grew together into Pura Lux. Here, I combined the sacred, unchanging words of a Mass with modern music that is that is flavored with classical elements.”  Knox began the composition a few years ago and it took root and gained its final full form during a recent European sabbatical.

The concerts on Saturday, March 16 and 17, will showcase the musical talents of the Cascade Chorale and instrumentalists from the Central Oregon community and, in addition to the premiere of Pura Lux Mass, includes excerpts of stirring music from The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins.  The Saturday and Sunday matinee performances are open to all, free of charge, at Nativity Lutheran Church, 60850 Brosterhous Road in Bend.  Donation are gratefully accepted to help support the Cascade Chorale’s mission to bring choral music to the Central Oregon community.

In the spring, Knox will release a new choral work, Jack and His Fortune, based on the English folktale of how Jack went to seek his fortune and is a spinoff of Town Musicians from Bremen by the Brothers Grimm.

The Cascade Chorale, a community chorus, is part of the music department at Central Oregon Community College.  Members range from experienced choristers who have sung with the Chorale for decades, as well as members that have just recently graduated from high school.  The Cascade Chorale has been under the direction of James Knox since 2004, and averages 75 talented singers.

Saturday, March 16 at 3pm

Sunday, March 17 at 3pm


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