“Beethoven felt so strongly about bringing home the message of peace and joy that I believe he felt he could only go so far with the instruments,” he said. “So, he decided to bring in choral reinforcements for (added impact). Every civilization has had choral music – past, present and future. The idea of people coming together and singing together is the most common way of making music in the world. Choral music has been around for millennia and every culture, every religion, has had their songs and rituals of music. Choral music is glorious.”
Looking back on his time with DPO, Dahlman credits his partnership with DPO Artistic Director Neal Gittleman to be fundamental in terms of collaboration and friendship.
“The relationship we developed early on in our association was one of genuine respect and simpatico,” he said. “Neal is a wonderful person. He always treated the chorus as singing musicians. It was always a joy to work with him.”
Dahlman’s successor has not been officially named but Dahlman is pleased with the choice. He is confident the chorus, which has varied over the years between 80 and 120 members, will continue to grow with new leadership.
“The person Neal has chosen is absolutely the right decision,” Dahlman said. “This person will be outstanding and will be capable to take the chorus to new levels of excellence. I’m excited for the chorus, who are all volunteers. They are really talented musicians who come from all walks of life. We have music teachers, student teachers, professional singers, engineers, doctors, lawyers, construction workers, homemakers – the whole gamut. It’s very unifying.”
Solo vocalists participating in the Beethoven masterwork are soprano Caitlin Crabill, mezzo-soprano Kristen Choi, tenor Robert Stahley, and baritone Lester Lynch.
The concert will also feature Stella Sung’s “Oceana,” a multimedia tribute to life in the oceans, and guest pianist Sara Davis Buechner’s performance of Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto.
HOW TO GO
What: “Beethoven 9: Joy to the World”
Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Tickets: Visit daytonperformingarts.org