YPAS collaborates on “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace”

Molly Gregory

On Monday and Tuesday Feb. 24 and 25 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, the YPAS choir and orchestra performed “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace,” written by Karl Jenkins, in collaboration with choir programs from Eastern High School and Ballard High School.

The Kentucky Center is lit up on the night of the performance. Photo by Molly Gregory.

“The Armed Man” is a collection of hymns and refrains written in Arabic, Latin, French and English alike. The intentions behind the performance are to discourage society from resorting to violence. The songs describe scenes of war, torment, starvation and grief. At this performance, as the orchestra played and the chorus sung, while screens in front of the stage played videos of war footage and how it affected different cultures.

“Singing about such gruesome things not only impacted me, but the audience. Throughout several moments I felt overwhelmed with emotion and I knew it was because this music had so much relevance,” Liz Maguire (11, YPAS) said.

Choirs from all three schools had been rehearsing at Ballard leading up to the performances. For some members of Manual’s orchestra, it was their first time performing alongside a choir.

The choir and orchestra prepare to begin their performance. Photo by Molly Gregory.

“It’s a very different experience than when it’s just orchestra. With choir you become very aware of everything else and you have to acknowledge their parts while you’re playing,” said Sam Roethgen (10, YPAS), a cello player, “It was a very eye-opening experience that I’m extremely thankful to be a part of.”

The collaboration between the three schools created a sense of unity within the theater.

“It was really cool to be surrounded by so many talented singers that were all willing to put in the work to make it the best performance it could be,” Katie Buchanan (10, YPAS) said.

“The Armed Man” was the choir’s last show before a short break until Thursday March 19, when they will put on their next performance. As for the orchestra, the chamber orchestra’s next performance will take place Tuesday, March 12.