Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem to be performed Nov. 9

GUELPH – The University of Guelph Choirs and the School of Fine Art and Music present Where the Heart Is on Nov. 9 from 7 to 9:30pm at St. George’s Anglican Church, 99 Woolwich St. in Guelph.

The first half features the iconic cantata Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams, with soloists Karla Oxley and Camilla Cook, sopranos; and Matthew Oxley, baritone.

As a stretcher-bearer in World War I, Ralph Vaughan Williams witnessed first-hand the horror of armed conflict.

In 1936, with images of the dead and wounded still fresh in his mind, and deeply troubled by the indications that another catastrophic engagement of hostilities was looming, Vaughan Williams composed Dona Nobis Pacem.

The work includes a wide range of text, including poems by Walt Whitman; quotations from the Hebrew prophets Jeremiah, Daniel, Haggai, Leviticus, Isaiah and Micah, complemented by a Psalm of David; and writings from the apostle Luke.

The concert’s second half includes a variety of works, largely by Canadian composers, including Paul Gross, David Keele and Mark Sirett; Jake Runestad; Imant Raminsh; the Ennis Sisters; and Canadian folk icon Stan Rogers.

A pre-concert talk (free with concert ticket) starts at 7pm. The concert starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the door or online at