August 17, 2015
Three original works by a Drury music professor are headed to one of the top international music festivals on the planet later this month.
Dr. Carlyle Sharpe’s “Christ Church Mass” and two other pieces have been selected for a live performance at the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland on Aug. 30.
The event focuses on classical music and opera, and was founded in 1947 as of way of showcasing “the flowering of the human spirit” in the wake of World War II. It grew rapidly and helped spawn dozens of other arts events at the same time, most notably the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, now the world’s largest arts festival.
These events are collectively known as the Edinburgh Festival, and artists whose works are selected for inclusion find themselves in a sought-after spotlight.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have had my works performed in numerous exciting venues, from the Kennedy Center to the International Sacred Music Festival in Riga, Latvia, and the Edinburg Festival is certainly included in those,” says Sharpe, who is professor of music composition and theory.
“Christ Church Mass” was written for Christ Episcopal Church in Springfield and performed there at the 2013 Easter service. It has since become a regular part of the church’s repertoire. Sharpe is a longtime member of the church’s choir.
“The work consists of the typical movements – Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei – performed in the context of a service,” Sharpe says. “Although it can be performed at any time, I added brass quintet and timpani to the standard organ part so that it could be performed for larger, more celebratory occasions such as Easter.”
The other pieces are “Flourishes,” a work for brass quintet and organ and “Laudate Nomen,” a festive work for chorus and organ.
They will be performed at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal Church in Edinburgh.
“Sacred music, in particular, has been a big part of my experience, because as a life-long Episcopalian, music of high quality historically plays a large role in the Episcopal Church,” he says.
Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations.