October 2012 / Bielefeld

Support of the Bielefeld University Choir

Music is universal

Music unites people across national borders. It appeals to our senses – and every person joins in to the rhythm.
The young choir director, Dorothea Schenk, has been conducting the Bielefeld University Choir since 2006 – ever since the retirement of Prof. Dr. Hümmeke. She manages to introduce students to music who have previously not had any great connection to or interest in music, often from very different faculties. Effortlessly she leads the approximately 90 members of the choir to absolute peak performances, which we are lucky enough to have witnessed!
In the past there have been performances of the works of Mozart, Verdi, Bruckner’s “Te Deum”, Mendelssohns “Lobgesang”, Händel’s “Messiah” and the “Christmas Oratorio” by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Music creates joy. When we contacted the music department at Bielefeld University directly and said that we would like to support the university choir, we heard silence at the other end of the line – speechless amazement. Mrs Dorothea Schenk reacted similarly, she was also lost for words for sheer joy.
Normally, the choir is obliged to go out and find sponsors – with us it was the other way around. In this case it was us who approached the choir, because it evokes such joie de vivre and is such a positive example of community and companionship which shows us how music can touch the soul.
We are happy that we were able to support the choir and its director with its presentation of the “Paulus-Oratorio” by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy which was performed in cooperation with the Bielefeld Philharmonic Orchestra. The Paul-Oratorio is regarded as one of the most significant oratorios of the romantic period, but despite this fact is performed very rarely.
It relates the life and history of the apostle Paul, who famously saw the light and converted from Saul to Paul. Felix Mendelssohn compiled the lyrics himself mainly using citations from the Bible. At the beginning of the oratorio there is an instrumental overture which includes the chorale “Wake, Awake, for Night is flying” which sets the frame for the rest of the oeuvre: The mental awakening of Saul to Paul, the message of Christ as a ray of hope in the darkness of the world.
The four solo parts were, as is usual at concerts of the Bielefeld University Choir, sung by internationally renowned artists. On the 21st October 2012 we were able to witness this unique musical experience. The performance of the “Paul-Oratorio” by the Bielefeld University Choir in cooperation with the Bielefeld Philharmonic Orchestra was a great success.

Project management
Eva‑Maria Mohn
since October 2012
Dorothea Schenk