Wilson G. Somers Composes ‘Requiem for 9/11’

Composing Hope

Composer Wilson G. Somers has several hopes for “Requiem for 9/11”—to remember victims of the terrorism, to honor men and women who have served in the military, to “restore the vision of the relationship between our heavenly father and this country,” and to raise funds for The Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.
“It’s more than just music,” Somers says. “It’s really consciousness building.” Compelled by the attacks—especially by the experience of one of his chorus students at Tatnall School—Somers began writing the traditional mass 10 years ago. All parts of it have been performed as he has written, though the piece won’t have been heard in its entirety until it premieres at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington on Nov. 25. “The modern era really ended in 2001,” Somers says. “Now, in this post-modern era, we’re trying to figure out what’s real, what’s authentic. I deal with it every day as an educator. How do I give students hope?”

Somers is known locally for his “Mass for the Homeless,” which premiered in 1997. Compelled by the suicide of a troubled friend, “Mass,” also 10 years in the making, sold out long before anyone but Somers had heard it and raised $40,000 for local homelessness organizations. With interest growing among corporate sponsors, Somers is hoping production costs of “Requiem” will be covered so that all proceeds from ticket sales can be donated to The Friends of Flight 93.  (requiemfor911.org)  —Mark Nardone

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