Sahuaro Teacher Wins Grammy

Taylor Gaines

On Monday February 15, Southern Arizona’s only professional chamber choir and orchestra the True Concord Voices and Orchestra won a Grammy for best contemporary classical composition. The Tucson group also was nominated in a second category, best choral performance. This award was given hours before the Grammy Awards was televised on CBS.

Our very own orchestra and guitar teacher, Ken Marrs, is a double bass player for the group. He also sang with the ensemble when it was founded in 2004. Marrs says, “I am very excited for both the conductor of True Concord and for the late composer Stephan Paulus. Stephan composed the piece “Prayers and Remembrance” to honor the victims of 9/11. The choir and orchestra premiered the piece in 2011, recorded the piece in 2013, and performed the piece in the Lincoln Center in NY on September 11, 2015. The CD was nominated for Grammy’s in “Best Choral Performance” and “Best Contemporary Classical Composition.” The piece won the latter award. Sadly, after composing “Prayers and Remembrance” Stephan Paulus had a stroke and passed away 3 months later.”

The whole group performs chamber music and to get in the group you are auditioned in or you get invited in. The True Concord is performing Benjamin Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb” at the end of February and is performing with Homero Ceron, principal percussions in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, in April.

Best of luck in your upcoming performances Mr.Marrs and congratulations to you and the True Concord for winning a Grammy. This is a big step for Tucson and performers everywhere.