May 12: Choirs, Orchestra Present Brahms’ German Requiem

Event Details

Date: May 11, 2013

Times: 3 p.m.

Location: Washington Pavilion

Ticket Info: $15 for adults | $10 for seniors | Free for students K-12 and those with an Augustana ID |

Augustana's Music Department will showcase its ensembles and faculty in Brahms’ German Requiem at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, at the Mary Sommervold Hall in the Washington Pavilion.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and are free for students K-12 and those with an Augustana ID. Tickets are available at

Four of Augustana's ensembles team together to perform this work. These ensembles, comprised of nearly 250 students and community members, include The Augustana Choir, Angelus, Collegiate Chorale, and The Augustana College & Community Orchestra. Dr. Paul Nesheim conducts the performance with Dr. Lisa Grevlos, soprano soloist, and Dr. Corey Renbarger, baritone soloist. This will be the first time this massive work has been performed by the Augustana Music Department.

The idea of composing a requiem in the German language based on texts from the Lutheran Bible came to Johannes Brahms in 1857, a year after the death of his friend and mentor, Robert Schumann. But it wasn't until 1865, following the death of Brahms' mother, that he took up composition of the music in earnest.

After another three years, the work stood complete, having grown from a choral piece into a cantata, and then into a seven-movement Requiem for chorus, soloists and orchestra. In the process, it became the central work of Brahms' career, the one that established him as a composer of major stature and linked two of the most important spheres of his lifelong musical endeavor, the vocal and the symphonic.

Brahms was steeped in the traditions of Protestantism, though unlike Bach, he remained unconvinced of man's afterlife. It was not his intention to pattern his Requiem after the Latin mass for the dead, nor to proclaim what he felt were false hopes for resurrection. Instead, Ein Deutsches Requiem is a work of consolation for those left behind.

About the Faculty

Soprano soloist Dr. Lisa Grevlos conducts the Angelus Women’s Choir at Augustana. An Augustana graduate, Grevlos earned her doctor of arts degree in voice performance and opera stage directing from the University of Northern Colorado. Grevlos has a long list of solo performances in her career and serves as president of “Sounds of South Dakota,” a group dedicated to promoting the vocal arts in our area and the celebration of South Dakota artists. 

Dr. Renbarger is a graduate of Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.) and currently teaches voice at Bemidji State University. He was a national semifinalist in Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2008 and has an extensive performance career throughout the country. 

Conducting the Requiem will be Dr. Paul Nesheim, conductor of The Augustana Choir. Nesheim is completing his first year at Augustana and recently led a successful tour of Eastern Europe with the Choir in January of 2013.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from St. Olaf College, a Master of Music degree in choral music from Arizona State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Arizona.