For as long as he can remember, West Virginia University student Luke Diamond envisioned scripting and composing his own music productions. As a senior music composition major, Diamond turned his vision into reality.
“Ma Grâce te Suffit” - based on the fairytale “Aurore et Aimée” by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont – tells the story of a girl who is subjected to a series of tragic events and blames God for each of them, only to learn that God was using the events for her good.
When the idea for the performance came to Diamond, he was motivated to bring it to reality to help others through their hardships.
“It's a story of great tragedy and loss, and while not everyone has suffered the same losses as the character Aurore, I am certain that we've all been through hardships that cause us to feel as if we’ve hit rock bottom,” Diamond said. “The title is a promise from God that literally means ‘my grace suffices you,’ and this work delves into the validity of that promise.”
Diamond played the roles of conductor, author, lyricist, theorist, pianist, vocal coach, conductor and businessman for the production.
“ Luke worked extremely hard on putting this production together,” said Kym Scott, assistant professor and director of choral activities at WVU. “He had to consider every aspect that goes into putting together a professional production and has worked tirelessly over the last few months to make sure that every element has received his full attention. I believe that Luke's passion for music, along with his drive and exceptional work ethic will ensure that this will be a wonderful show.”
Staring roles in the production were played by Kathryn Shepas and Steven Patrick, WVU voice performance alumni; Hannah Friend, a voice performance major; and Toni Rose, a Morgantown fifth grade student.
WVU music students comprised the production’s orchestra while students and community members collaborated in the choir directed by Scott. WVU voice faculty members in the production were Rob Chafin , Hope Koehler and William Koehler . Featured WVU dancers were organized and choreographed by General Hambrick , assistant professor of dance .
“Not a single element of this production would be possible if it weren't for the support of the teachers who helped and encouraged me,” Diamond said, also noting the hard work of the entire cast. “The music for the production is anything but easy and the performers have all put a lot of time and energy into learning their parts. Bringing the production to life has certainly taught me that I reap what I sow, because the difficulties and complexities I wrote for the performers to play, I now have to guide them through from the conductor’s podium.”
The premiere performances were held Jan. 28-29 at the WVU Creative Arts Center. As a student project, Diamond had no funding for the production. A GoFundMe has been set up to assist Diamond with production costs.