A newly orchestrated version of John Donald Robb's Requiem will be featured in a Thursday, May 23 Santa Fe concert presented by the New Mexico Performing Arts Society (NMPAS). The rarely performed St. Cecilia Mass by Charles Gounod also is also on the program. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Both performances are to be conducted by Franz Vote, a founding member of the NMPAS who has been called one of the finest conductors of his era. He spent the 1990s as a conductor with the Metropolitan Opera and throughout his career has collaborated with many of the top names in opera. Both compositions will be performed by the New Mexico Bach Society, featuring a professional orchestra, choir and soloists.

Maxine Thevenot, organist and choral director at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in Albuquerque, will play the nearly 100-year-old McNary pipe organ, which was donated to the museum in the 1930s. She is also a lecturer at UNM.

Additional featured performers include Edmund Connolly, Andre Garcia-Nuthmann, Sarah Ihlefeld, Carol Leitner, Lina Ramos, Kathlene Ritch and Tim Willson.

The Requiem was completed in 1985 when Robb, former dean of the UNM College of Fine Arts and a prolific composer, was 93. It was his last major composition and was written, "In Memory of Mother, Father, and Eight Brothers & Sisters." It was originally scored for a large orchestra and chorus, but for the Santa Fe concert has been re-scored for a smaller orchestra. Gounod, a French composer, completed the highly acclaimed St. Cecilia Mass in 1854, when he was 36. The piece established him as a noteworthy composer.

The UNM John Donald Robb Trust is contributing partial underwriting to the Santa Fe concert. Support also comes from Friends of The New Mexico Performing Arts Society, the Santa Fe Symphony and Richard Kurman.

Ticket prices are $55/$45/$30/$20 and may be purchased in advance at the Tickets Santa Fe Box Office in Santa Fe's Lensic Performing Arts Center or by calling (505) 988-1234. Tickets may also be purchased on the night of the concert at St. Francis Auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Nancy Harbert or call (505) 277-8967.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu