A! Magazine for the Arts

Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers

Symphony of the Mountains premieres 'Appalachian Requiem'

February 26, 2023

Symphony of the Mountains presents “Celebrating Our Appalachian Mountain Home” at the Eastman Toy F. Reid Employee Center Auditorium, Kingsport, Tennessee, Saturday, March 4 at 7.30 p.m. The Symphony is joined by the Voices of the Mountains, the Milligan Concert Choir and the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy in the world premiere of Robert Campbelle’s “Earth Touching Heaven: An Appalachian Requiem.”

Campbelle is music director at Central Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Virginia. He has composed numerous choral works and is a member of the Voices of the Mountains. The seven-movement requiem was composed during the pandemic and is dedicated to the memory of Campbelle’s parents and all the people worldwide who lost their lives in the pandemic.

Soprano Katylyn Grunstra and Bass-baritone Michael Rodgers from Knoxville are the featured soloists in the requiem. Symphony patrons will remember Rodgers’ voice from a summer Allandale performance two years ago. Since that performance was interrupted by a thunderstorm before he could sing “Ol’Man River,” the piece is on the program now, as well as “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

The first half of the program includes Gluck’s overture to “Orfeo ed Euridice” and a tribute to a favorite Appalachian animal with Haydn’s Symphony No. 82: “The Bear.”

Tickets are $35 for adults. Children and students are admitted free of admission courtesy of the Ty and Julann Warren Family Foundation. To order tickets, call Symphony of the Mountains Box Office at (423) 392-8423 or visit symphonytix.com.