First UMC of GNV to present new requiem

First United Methodist Church of Gainesville
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The congregation of the First United Methodist Church of Gainesville will be hosting a concert Sunday featuring a new requiem composed by Heather Sorenson.

The premiere will be at 4 p.m. in the First UMC sanctuary (419 NE 1st St.). The concert will feature the Requiem Festival Chorus and Orchestra comprised of First UMC members and others from the community. After the concert, there will be a reception with Sorenson.

The requiem was conceived by the First UMC of Gainesville to reflect and heal from the trauma of the pandemic.

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“The overall concept for this work is that it is not a typical requiem, but something reflective of our current times and how we emerge from it stronger; a requiem mourning the life we left behind, those we have lost, and hope for the new life to come,” the UMC press release stated.

Sorenson is a best-selling Christian composer whose work is recognized around the world. According to her website, she has appeared multiple times at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Constitution Hall in the roles of pianist and composer.

“Like so many of God’s own, I have been deeply etched,” said Sorenson in the press release. “I am not the same person I was a few years ago. When I see all the marks on my life — places where God deeply cut things out, shattered things that I hung onto unwisely, stitched up wounds inflicted by my own error — sometimes my ‘disfigurations’ overwhelm me.

“I am learning to embrace my marks; you see, every time God’s chisel chips away a part of me, it exposes a piece of Christ underneath…They have changed my image of God, my relationship with God, and they have changed my worship of God.”

Following the premiere in Gainesville, the First UMC of Gainesville will join Sorenson and 250 other singers for the Carnegie Hall premiere on Nov. 27.

For more information contact Michael Ekbladh, First UMC Director of Music Ministries at

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