To Be Certain of the Dawn
St. Cloud, Minn. (Vocus) May 13, 2008
– Singers, instrumentalists and faculty soloists from St. Cloud State University, the College of Saint Benedict, Saint John's University and the SCSU Cantabile Girls Choir leave May 20 for overseas, where they will perform the European premiere of a Holocaust oratorio at Natzweiler-Struthof, a former Nazi concentration camp in France.
The presentation of “To Be Certain of the Dawn” at a concentration camp is one of several concerts to be performed in Germany, Switzerland and France during a May 20-June 4 study tour.
“To Be Certain of the Dawn,” by composer Stephen Paulus and librettist Michael Dennis Browne, was premiered in 2005 by the Rev. Michael J. O'Connell of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis to celebrate two important events – the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the death camps at the end of World War II and the 40th anniversary of the Vatican II document that condemned blaming Jews for the death of Christ. Rooted in themes and subjects of mutual interest to the Jewish and Christian faith communities, the oratorio pays tribute to those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and honors survivors and their descendants.
Performers on the European study tour will participate in a curriculum guided by the Jewish Studies Program and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at St. Cloud State that includes visits to churches, mosques, synagogues, museums, universities and the European Union Parliament.
Media Relations Director
To interview students who will make the trip, contact Terry Vermillion at 320-308-3224.
Terry Vermillion, chair, St. Cloud State Music Department, 320-308-5237
Diane Hageman, media relations director, College of Saint Benedict, 320-363-5748
Axel Theimer, professor of music, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, 320-363-3374
Bernard Reuter, director, SCSU Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education,
Holocaust oratorio, study tour
“To Be Certain of the Dawn” Holocaust oratorio:
Cultural sites study group will visit:
The concentration camp:
“To Be Certain of the Dawn” Holocaust Oratorio study tour
May 20 - Depart St. Cloud for Minneapolis airport
May 21 - Arrive in Frankfurt/Main and Düsseldorf
May 22 - Visit Martin Buber Synagogue; visit Catholic Church in former World War II bunker, “Bunkerkirche”
May 23 - Rehearsal at St. Antonius Catholic Church, Düsseldorf-Oberkassel; visit Protestant Church St. Anna
May 24 - Afternoon concert; 20 families of Catholic St. Antonius will each welcome two Cantabile members for a family afternoon and dinner
May 25 - Visit Cologne Cathedral (Köln); visit Muslim “guest workers” community in Düsseldorf
May 26 - Visit town in Ruhrgebiet (former coal mining and industrial area)
May 27-29 - Colmar, Alsace, France (next to Kaiserstuhl and Black Forest; home of Statue of Liberty)
May 28 - Rehearsal at former concentration camp Natzweiler-Struthof, visit museum and tour with director; if time permits visit Alsace/Moselle Cultural Heritage and Migration Museum
May 29 - Concert at Natzweiler Struthof
May 30 - Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany, meet with local musicians and choirs; local evening concert in church, visit synagogue
May 31 - Visit European Parliament, Strasbourg; Europa Park Rust
June 1 - Visit and possible concert at Freiburg University
June 2 - Visit Basel University, Switzerland, lecture by university staff at synagogue; visit cathedral (Munster)
June 3 - Visit former Jewish community house in Breisach; visit traditional Jewish cemetery, Ihringen (site was desecrated by Neo-Nazis)
June 4 - Arrive in Minneapolis