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Classical 101

Remembering 9/11 in Song, Fifteen Years Later

First Congregational Church, Columbus, OH
This Sunday, 9/11/16, marks the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. First Congregational Church at 444 E. Broad Street commemorates the day with Mozart's 'Requiem.'

First Congregational Church at 444 E. Broad Street will present Mozart's Requiem, sung by the First Church Choir conducted by Kevin Jones, this Sunday, September 11 at 4:00 p.m.  Admission is free. 

The music program at FCC has always been superb. Anyone looking for beautiful music in a beautiful setting, offering a connection and contemplation on this date, would be well served by attending this concert. Thank you, Kevin Jones and colleagues.

The Rolling Requiem was a worldwide initiative featuring performance of Mozart's Requiem, his final work, left incomplete at his death in 1791, on September 11, 2002. On the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania, communities the world over performed Mozart's Requiem at 9:09 a.m. — the moment the first plane hit the tower— local time. The Rolling Requiem began in Australia and rolled across the world.

Here in Columbus, the project was shepherded by the wonderful Joel Mathias at Broad Street Presbyterian Church. A wonderful group of musicians assembled to rehearse and perform.

Thanks to WOSU then-radio program director Dave Carwile and at the suggestion of newsman Tom Borderging, a decision was made to broadcast the event live on WOSU radio.  Kevin Petrilla and I went down, set up, and found the only perch where brief commentary would not intrude on the event, nor the sight of an sweating broadcaster impose on the proceedings. I hid in the men's room - mic and all.

The church was packed long before 9:09 a.m. Speakers had been set up out on Broad Street. There was no applause. Mr Mathias came out at 9:08:30, and at 9:09 gave the downbeat. Fifty minutes later, after the final quia pius est,for thou art holy"— a weepy audience quietly left the church. I will never forget it.

P.S. Compline is sung by the Schola of St. Joseph Cathedral, downtown Columbus at 9:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month. Last week was exquisite. The church is lit only be candles, the schola files up to the choir loft and the sound caresses and bounces off the stone walls. For forty-five minutes of nothing but beauty, Compline on the first Sunday at St. Joe's is  the place to be.


Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.