On November 5, 2023, composer Dan Locklair conducts his Requiem in Lynchburg, VA. The concert is an All Saints’ Day Concert with the St. John’s Choir, the Cantate Youth and Children’s Choir, soloists, string orchestra and organ, played by Peggy Haas Howell. The nine-movement, 45-minute work is set in English and uses elements of the Latin Mass, along with non-traditional solo movements featuring additional Biblical texts. The Requiem premiered in Fall 2015 in Winston-Salem, as part of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s All Saints’ Day celebration, led by John Cummins. Locklair composed the Requiem in memoriam for his parents; and this concert marks the second time he will conduct it, having previously presented it in Roanoke, VA, as part of St. John’s Episcopal Church’s Fall 2018 “Music on the Corner” concert series. Additional Subito works programmed on this portrait-concert include: In Memory H.H.L.; Remembrance, and When In Our Music God Is Glorified.
Locklair shares some observations. “Any piece that I do is personal. But, due to its commemoration of my beloved parents, my Requiem is even more so. Although it utilizes texts from the traditional Requiem Mass, it also makes use of scriptural texts that offer comfort. The Requiem is in English. This, to me, allows for more clarity of meaning.”
He continues. “Conducting your own compositions is always a bit of a double-edged sword. Sitting in the audience and standing at the end of a performance is so much easier! But, the satisfaction of conducting your own works allows you the opportunity to bring to life an interpretation that is unique to the composer. Conducting, of course, is a re-creative process and, since the conductor is in charge of the performance outcome, if anything goes wrong, you have only yourself to blame! What a responsibility! The rehearsals leading up to a performance are a lot of work, but it is also a very gratifying time. Not only are you in direct touch with the notes that you have written on the page (and, hopefully, gotten right!), but you also have the opportunity to work directly with the dedicated performers who have worked so long and hard to prepare the music to be brought to life. I find that to be a magical musical partnership!”