On Notre Dame’s campus, staff and students are home for Spring Break, but eventually it is as crowded as ever! How could this be? What are all of these people doing here?
The answer is simple: on March 16th the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center hosts a gala concert inspired by J.R.R Tolkien’s acclaimed book series, The Lord of the Rings.

Famous book series written by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien first presented to the audience on 29th of July 1954 with the book “Lord of The rings: Fellowship of the Ring”. The epic novel became one of the best-selling books ever written, with over 150 million copies sold. The story won a place in the hearts of a whole generation and over time turned into a large-scale film franchise and a good source for memes.

The Lord of The Rings is a great epic world – where it is divided between Men, Elves, Dwarfs, Wizards, Orcs, and Hobbits. Once the lords of Men, Elves and Dwarfs are given a Rings of Power. Unbeknownst to them, the Dark Lord Sauron forges the One Ring in Mount Doom, instilling into it a great part of his power, to dominate the other Rings to conquer Middle-earth. A final alliance of Men and Elves battles Sauron’s forces in Mordor. As a result , The Ring is lost in a river for 2,500 years until some combination of circumstances does not lead to the fact that Frodo inherits the ring from his ancestor – Bilbo Beggins, a hobbit from the Shire. Gandalf The Grey, an old friend of Bilbo’s after arriving at the celebration, starts to suspect that the ring is indeed the One Ring of legend. After confirming his suspicions, he tells Frodo that the Ring must be taken away from the Shire, as Sauron’s power is growing once again. That’s the point where the dangerous adventure of hobbits takes its beginning.
But what Lord of the Rings has to do with Notre Dame and Penn High School Choir?

The seventh South Bend Youth Youth Symphony Orchestra gala concert “The Lord Of the Rings” that took place on March 16th at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at Notre Dame attracted a lot of attention. The South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra collaborated with top-notch musicians and musical groups from Michiana community and beyond – artists such as Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano, Indianapolis Symphony Principal Cellist Austin Huntington, Grammy-winning ensemble third Coast Percussion, and Fischhoff-winning quintet Axiom Brass. Along with Notre Dame’s Child Choir members and Penn High School choir, and SBYSO led the audience on a journey through Middle-Earth with music from Howard Shore’s Lord of The Rings Symphony. One of the notorious invited musical talents was one more Fischoff competition winner and University of Michigan violin professor, Dr. Matt Alber and film composer Andrew Osano.

The Concert Orchestra led by Emilie Grondin, conductor and chamber music coordinator, performed the Suite from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” by Howard Shore arranged by Douglas E. Wagner and Slavonic Dance No.3, op. 46 by Antonin Dvorak Arranged by Merle Isaac. Older members of SBYSO introduced the A World Apart by Andrew Osano, Violin Concerto by Kevin Puts and Two Movements from The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring by Howard Shore. Prepared by chorus master Andrew Nemeth, Associate Director Lavon Oke and Assistant Director and Accompanist Allison Secaur members of Penn High School Symphonic Choir along with Notre Dame Children’s Choir led by Artistic Director Dr. Mark Doerries assisted for SBYSO Orchestra by singing in elvish and orks language.

Copy of 20230316_204131.mp4
Copy of 20230316_204131.mp4

The concert was amazing and the audience enjoyed it a lot. We are very thankful to all: Directors, Assistants, Notre Dame Staff, Notre Dame Children’s Choir, SBYSO Orchestra and of course Penn High School Choir! Moreover we want to say thank you to Choir Director Mr. Andrew Nemeth, Associate Director Mr. Lavon Oke, Assistant Director and Accompanist Mrs. Allison Secaur.