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The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass
Sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City!

On February 18, 2013, Monroe Crossing served as the orchestra for the Carnegie Hall premiere of "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass" under the direction of Nancy Menk. The experience was such as success that the band has been invited to return to Carnegie Hall on June 9, 2014 to recreate the world premier with conductor Philip Brunelle! All arrangments are being made by Manhattan Concert Productions.

Composed for Monroe Crossing by Carol Barnett

Monroe Crossing-Plymouth ChurchCommissioned by Mike and Kay McCarthy and brilliantly executed by composer Carol Barnett and librettist Marisha Chamberlain, The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass blends the classical mass, modern choral sophistication, touching poetry and traditional bluegrass instrumentation into an exhilarating musical experience.

Originally premiered by Monroe Crossing with VocalEssence, a Minnesota-based professional choral group led by Philip Brunelle, choirs from Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, California, Indiana and Washington DC have since brought Monroe Crossing in to perform The World Beloved.

The World Beloved“It’s a classical piece of choral music that’s a stunningly beautiful work of art. It's given us the opportunity to work with some of the great choirs and conductors and bring bluegrass music to a classical audience for the very first time,” says bass player Mark Anderson.

The World Beloved was recorded by Monroe Crossing and VocalEssence for the Clarion label. Learn more about the album on our CD page.

Enjoy this recent performance with Monroe Crossing amd the Macalester Concert Choir under the direction of Matthew Mehaffey.

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Performances of the "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass" are listed below.

Review of the World Premiere Concert
William Randall Beard, Minneapolis Star Tribune - January 22, 2007
Carol Barnett’s amazing “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” was given its world premiere by the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers in collaboration with the bluegrass band Monroe Crossing at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater on Friday night. This was not an easy partnership…but her music was idiomatic enough and the musicians flexible enough that it sounded perfectly natural…Barnett traversed the two idioms quite ingeniously, bringing out the best in both ensembles. The contrasts between the sophisticated classical choral sound and the jubilant bluegrass harmonies were effectively used to make the text come alive…the triumphant Gloria…was an exuberant success. Likewise, the Credo…became a powerful Gospel number. This mass was a compelling statement of faith that ended on a note of sublime grace and peace.

Composer Website: www.carolbarnett.net

Composer's Program Note
To bring the solemnity of the classical choir-based mass together with the down home sparkle of bluegrass—now there’s an assignment. My highest hope is that listeners coming from one tradition—classical or bluegrass—and perhaps dubious about the other, might discover something new and wonderful in the combination, as I have. Composing the music for The World Beloved has given me the chance to write cheery sacred music— all too rare in a medium rife with staid and even lugubrious settings. And it’s brought me back to memories of music heard while visiting my grandparents, country music with a church flavor that told stories and came out of a scratchy old record player. Grandma would not have allowed dancing, but under the table I tapped my toes.

Here's a list of future performances!
2014-12-13 Bluegrass Mass with Arrowhead Chorale
Duluth Depot Great Hall in Duluth MN
2014-12-14 Bluegrass Mass with Arrowhead Chorale
Duluth Depot Great Hall in Duluth MN
2015-03-28 Bluegrass Mass w/The Heritage Chorale
Wellesley Hills Congregational Church in Wellesley Hills MA
2015-04-12 Bluegrass Mass with Philip Brunelle & Plymouth Choir
Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis MN
2015-04-26 Bluegrass Mass w/Minnesota Center Chorale
Paramount Theatre in St Cloud MN
2015-05-03 Bluegrass Mass with Deer Creek Chorale
North Harford High School Theater in Pylesville MD
2015-07-25 Bluegrass Mass w/Dolce Canto
First Presbyterian Church of Coeur d'Alene in Coeur d'Alene ID
2015-07-26 St Timothy’s Summer Music Festival
St. Timothy’s Memorial Chapel in Phillipsburg MT

Here are the fine choirs we've worked with in the past
2014-10-16 Bluegrass Mass with Griffin Choral Arts
Griffin First United Methodist Church in Griffin GA
2014-06-09 Bluegrass Mass with Masterworks Festival Chorus
Carnegie Hall in New York NY
2014-06-08 Bluegrass Mass with Hancock Chancel Choir
Hancock UCC, Congregational in Lexington MA
2014-05-05 Bluegrass Mass w/Harrison High School Choir
Harrison School for the Arts Theatre in Lakeland FL
2014-04-04 Bluegrass Mass with Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus
Bethel Church in Crown Point IN
2014-03-04 Bluegrass Mass w/UWS Acappella Choir
Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior WI
2014-03-02 Bluegrass Mass w/Westminster Presbyterian Choir
Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis MN
2013-05-19 Bluegrass Mass with The Bethlehem Senior Choir
Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis MN
2013-03-16 Bluegrass Mass with the Red Wing Singers
The Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing MN
2013-03-05 Bluegrass Mass with Dolce Canto
St Anthony Parish in Missoula MT
2013-02-18 Bluegrass Mass with Nancy Menk & 300-Voice Chorus
Carnegie Hall in New York NY
2012-11-18 Bluegrass Mass with the Grinnell College Choir
Sebring-Lewis Hall (in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts) in Grinnell IA
2012-10-21 Bluegrass Mass with the St Joseph Community Chorus
Word of Life Church in St Joseph MO
2012-10-19 Bluegrass Mass with the Abendmusik Chorus
First-Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln NE
2012-06-14 Bluegrass Mass with VocalEssence
Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis MN
2012-04-28 Bluegrass Mass with the South Shore Chorale
Fond du Lac High School Performing Arts Center in Fond du Lac WI
2012-04-22 Bluegrass Mass with the Minnetonka Choral Society
Hopkins High School Auditorium in Minnetonka MN
2012-03-07 Bluegrass Mass with The South Bend Chamber Singers
Trinity English Lutheran Church in Ft Wayne IN
2012-03-04 Bluegrass Mass with The South Bend Chamber Singers
O'Laughlin Auditorium, Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame IN
2012-03-02 Bluegrass Mass with Heartland Voices Chorus
Elgin Community College Arts Center in Elgin IL
2012-02-19 Bluegrass Mass with The Plymouth Church Chancel Choir
Plymouth United Church of Christ in Des Moines IA
2011-12-02 Bluegrass Mass with the Macalester Concert Choir
St Paul United Church of Christ in St Paul MN
2011-11-06 Bluegrass Mass with the St John Senior Choir
St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in St Paul MN
2011-07-16 Berkshire Choral Festival (Bluegrass Mass)
Stewart Center in Sheffield MA
2010-11-07 Bluegrass Mass with the Westminster Choir
Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis MN
2010-10-15 Bluegrass Mass with the Susquehanna Valley Chorale
Weis Center for the Performing Arts in Lewisburg PA
2010-04-11 Bluegrass Mass with The ISU Singers and Ames Chamber Artists
Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Ames IA
2010-03-25 Bluegrass Mass with Prairie du Chien HS Choir
St Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Prairie du Chien WI
2009-11-20 Bluegrass Mass with the Muscatine Civic Chorale
Wesley United Methodist Church in Muscatine IA
2009-06-07 Bluegrass Mass selections with The Chancel Choir
Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana CA
2009-05-11 Bluegrass Mass with Choral Arts Ensemble
Hage Atrium, Siebens Building in Rochester MN
2009-05-10 Bluegrass Mass with Choral Arts Ensemble
Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester MN
2009-05-09 Bluegrass Mass with Choral Arts Ensemble
Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester MN
2009-05-03 Bluegrass Mass with Philip Brunelle & Plymouth Choir
Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis MN
2009-04-17 Bluegrass Mass with Montgomery County Choral Society
First United Methodist Church in Conroe TX
2008-05-18 Bluegrass Mass w/Master Chorale of Washington DC
National Presbyterian Church in Washington DC
2008-04-06 Bluegrass Mass w/Philip Brunelle & Plymouth Congregational Choir
Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis MN
2008-03-14 Bluegrass Mass with VocalEssence
Luther College, Center for Faith and Life in Decorah IA
2008-03-08 Bluegrass Mass with VocalEssence
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton WI
2007-10-27 Bluegrass Mass with VocalEssence
Calvin Fine Arts Center in Grand Rapids MI
2007-05-16 Bluegrass Mass w/Dale Warland & Cincinnati Conservatory Chorale
Corbett Auditorium, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati OH
2007-01-20 Bluegrass Mass with VocalEssence
Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis MN
2007-01-19 Bluegrass Mass with VocalEssence
Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater MN