Musicians host tribute concert to reflect on loss during COVID-19 pandemic

Editor’s note: The April 8 outdoor concert has been rescheduled due to expected cold temperatures. The April 10 performance will proceed as planned.

The Vanderbilt University Symphony Orchestra and Vanderbilt’s collegiate choirs will host a musical tribute to remember those who’ve suffered a loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tucker Biddlecombe, associate professor and director of choral activities, will conduct a performances of Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, by Johannes Brahms on April 10 at 2 p.m. at the Martha Rivers Ingram Center for the Performing Arts at Vanderbilt Blair School of Music. 

Biddlecombe said the music selection will allow audiences a time for reflection. Ein Deutsches Requiem is often called the Human Requiem or Requiem for the Living

“Unlike traditional requiems by Mozart and Verdi, Brahms handpicked biblical texts that focus on those left behind, rather than utilizing the liturgical mass text. The resulting work is the perfect union of music and text—a gateway to experiencing true emotion and catharsis through music,” Biddlecombe said. “The Requiem will be performed not only as a tribute to the millions who have perished in this pandemic, but for those of us left forever changed by the experience.” 

Originally, approximately 1,000 candles were scheduled for placement on Alumni Lawn for an April 8 performance, each marked with the name of someone lost or someone who has been left behind, as part of the event. The April 8 event has been canceled due to difficult weather conditions. A tribute will take place in some form on April 10. Those who would like the name of a loved one included in the display are asked to place the request in the document at this link.

The concert is free and open to the public. People are also invited to watch the performance onBlair’s livestreaming platform.