Mozart's Requiem fills Lake Charles Church on Good Friday

Web Extra: Good Friday Concert
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - About 50 choir members, a 16-piece orchestra, and four soloists gathered at the First United Methodist Church this evening for a Good Friday Easter Concert.

Lamar Robertson has been singing with the First United Methodist Church in Lake Charles for longer than he can remember.

"That's hard to say. I've been here a long time," laughed Robertson, who is a choir singer and former director.

Robertson says the choir sings at the church each week, "Our biggest responsibility is Sunday morning."

But they also perform on special occasions like today where they joined up with an orchestra and soloists for a Good Friday concert.

"We'll be performing Mozart's Requiem, which is Wolfgang's last composition, he actually died while he was writing it and his students finished it for him," said Dr. Bret Smithey, Director of Music.

Smithey says it's what makes it a fitting piece for Good Friday.

He also says it's probably the most challenging piece they've ever tackled. But they had help today from other musicians.

"We average on Sunday about 34 in the choir, but tonight we're going to have almost 50 with all the guests plus a 16-piece orchestra and organ," explained Smithey.

Ben Klaus, a tenor soloist, was one of those guest musicians.

"Well there are four LSU students. We all drove down this evening and last Tuesday for a rehearsal," said Klaus.

Lavelle Florence, the double bassist, is also from out of town.

"Their bassist couldn't do it so I came from Texas to sub-in," said Florence.

Other musicians like Heather Ritchie are local, but not with the church.

"I play in the Lake Charles Symphony," said Ritchie.

And whether local or from afar, musicians tonight say it's an honor to perform together.

"It's fun to make music, but when you can make music at a really excellent level, it makes it that much better," said Klaus.

"They're very friendly and very dedicated to what they do," added Robertson.

Smithey says because the church and choir are growing, they're including more of the community and have even started a concert series.

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