Friday’s Rhapsody Scholarship Benefit Concert dedicated to former choral director

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The K-State Women's Choir performs in All Faith's Chapel in 2015. The K-State Grand Chorus will perform Mozart's Requiem for the Rhapsody Scholarship Benefit Concert on Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. (Parker Robb | Collegian Media Group)

The 2019 Rhapsody Scholarship Benefit Concert will be dedicated to Rod Walker, former professor and previous director of choral activities at Kansas State University, who died on Dec. 31, 2018.

The sixth annual concert will be held on Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. in McCain Auditorium. This is the first time the Rhapsody concert will be hosted in Manhattan. In the past, the concert has been held in venues like the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri.

Walker is being honored thanks to his time and dedication to the choir program at K-State. Walker was a presence at K-State for 41 years, where he helped form a long legacy of choral music.

The concert will feature the K-State Grand Chorus performing Mozart’s “Requiem” with an orchestra. The concert will also include other works for a large chorus.

“As the requiem is for the dead, it felt right to dedicate it to him,” said Julie Yu-Oppenheim, professor of music and director of the K-State Grand Chorus. “We just wanted to honor a man that influenced thousands of people while he was here.”

Those who believe they are unfamiliar with Mozart’s “Requiem” may be caught off guard with how much they have heard it — “Requiem” makes an appearances in “The Simpsons,” “The Wolverine” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

“Mozart has been a part of the soundtrack of our lives,” Samantha Williams, junior in applied music, said. “The effects within this piece will be felt all through the audience.”

“It can be compared to Avengers: EndGame. You will cry and laugh and be full with feeling,” Yu-Oppenheim said.

The Rhapsody Scholarship Benefit Concert shares the mission of the K-State Choral Music Division and supports scholarships for music and non-music students participating in the choral program.

“I have been dreaming of performing this piece since I was in seventh grade,” Williams said. “This process is so gratifying.”

Tickets are $20 general admission or $15 for seniors, military and youth ages 18 and under. Students can also get discounted tickets with a student ID. Tickets can be purchased online or from the McCain box office.

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