In the Press


NCO performs world premiere of 'Missa De Profunctis'

July 8, 2013 Times Pub

On Saturday, June 1st, a composer’s dream was realized and a legacy of love fulfilled when the Newtown Chamber Orchestra (NCO) performed the world premiere of Missa De Profunctis, a requiem composed by Dr. Samuel Bellardo in loving memory of his great-nephew Joseph L. Bellardo III.

The extraordinary musical ensemble of over 100 musicians, singers and soloists assembled and directed by Dr. Russell Hoffmann, Musical Director/Conductor of the NCO, played to a full house of music lovers, friends and family of Samuel Bellardo and Joseph Bellardo who came to celebrate their memory and to share this historic, once-in-a lifetime event.

James D. Moyer, the highly regarded Chorus Master and Randy White, the accomplished Youth Chorus Master assisted Dr. Hoffmann. Also featured, were youth soprano soloists, Mason Cano and Cole Vonvorys and four international soloists, Susan Whitenack, Soprano, Cheri Rose Katz, Dramatic Mezzo Soprano, Edgar Jarmillo, Tenor, and Matthew Curran, Bass.

Members of the Bellardo family were profoundly moved. It had been 10 years since Joey (Joseph L. Bellardo III) died in a car accident and the music offered them some solace.

“Joe and I were both moved by the performance” said Aggie Bellardo, Joey’s mother. “We felt a presence of peace. The music was beautiful and we thank all who worked so effortlessly, from the musicians, the choir, the soloists and especially Russell and Deborah for their devotion to accomplishing this world premier. Uncle Samuel and Joseph are smiling!”

Dr. Russell Hoffmann, who conducted the concert and perhaps spent the most time learning the score and thinking about the music, offered his perspective. “It is very a compelling work from every perspective.  It is monumental with tremendous significance.”

Dr. Hoffmann concluded: “The Missa de Profunctis is not only a great tribute to Joseph Bellardo III and his family, but a masterpiece withstanding all time. My hope is that anyone who was not able to attend the world premiere performance presented by Newtown Chamber Orchestra will be able to experience this work at a later time whenever future performances will be announced whether in this country or around the world.”



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