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USC School of Music mounts its largest musical event in 2018

Leonard Bernstein conducting. Bernstein would have been 100 this year.

In two weeks, USC’s school of music will be performing one of Leonard Bernstein’s (pictured first) monumental theatrical pieces.

The School of Music is honoring Bernstein, who died in 1990, for MASS, a production written at the request of Jackie Kennedy for the opening of the JFK Center that opened in 1971. The piece is about faith, doubt and tolerance and the work’s powerful message of hope, renewal and unity through peace and understanding.

“I’ve always had a deep interest in Catholicism in all its aspects; its similarities and dissimilarities to Judaism,” wrote Bernstein. The play is composed by Stephen Schwartz who specialized in turning religious pieces into contemporary pieces. It is sung in English, Latin, and Hebrew.

Kevin Vortmann, the critically acclaimed Broadway actor assisting in the production

Over 200 performers will be on the stage for this production, including: Opera at USC, USC Concert Choir, USC Youth Choir, USC Symphony Orchestra, USC Wind Ensemble and more. The featured performer for this play is Kevin Vortmann (pictured below) who will perform as Celebrant which he received critical praise for when performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The school of music personnel in charge of the play are Tayloe Harding, School of Music Dean; Scott Weiss, Conductor; Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, Stage Director; Alicia Walker, Chorus Director.

The showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. March 2 and 3 and at 3 p.m. March 4. Tickets are being sold for $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, USC faculty and staff, military (with ID), and $10 for students(with ID) and children. Tickets can be purchased at the Koger Box Office, over the phone at 803-251-2222 or online at kogercenterforthearts.com. Call the number previously stated for information on group rates.

“Mass” set rendered by Teddy Moore.

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