‘THAT MUSIC ALWAYS ROUND ME’
The Women’s Chorus, University Chorus and Chamber Singers
The music on tonight’s program spans cultures, times and places. These songs are those of our histories and heritage, joys and sorrows, journeys and destinations – the music always round us.
I Chamber Singers
David L. Brunner, conductor
Voicedance is just that — a joyful exploration of jazz voicings, extended harmonies and dancing, syncopated rhythms.
This playful arrangement of a Venezuelan song uses cross rhythms and shifting meters, alternating between duple and triple groupings – and sometimes both at once!
8 Laughing Voices
Korean composer Hyo-Won Woo provides a quirky opportunity for singers to play with nonsense syllables and explore the many ways to laugh.
arr. Robert L. Morris
This rhythmically and harmonically complex setting of a familiar spiritual has its roots in the blues tradition.
II Women’s Chorus
Kelly A Miller, conductor
Stormy Weather (from Cotton Club)
Harold Arlen, arr. Lojeski
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” – Dr. Seuss
The Little Road
The lyric speaks of the moment when we must decide whether to follow the road into the unknown, or to stay with what is known, dear and comforting. ~Moira Smiley
“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucious
Margaret Walker’s poem leapt off the page at me – these words were crying to be sung. I was drawn to the strength of the grandmothers described by Walker. This was not frailty—this was determined womanhood. ~ Andrea Ramsey
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.” E.B. White
Changing the world starts with just one person.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale
Never Never Land (from Peter Pan)
Jule Styne, arr. Huff
Wendy: Peter where do you live?
Peter Pan: It’s a secret place.
Wendy: Please, tell me!
Peter Pan: Would you believe me if I told you?
Wendy: I promise.
Peter Pan: For sure?
Wendy: For sure.
“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” – Hans Christen Andersen
Still I Rise
Still I Rise was inspired by the poem of the same name by poet laureate Maya Angelou. It is a women’s anthem, saluting the strength of women to persevere through life’s difficulties–low self-esteem, physical and emotional abuse, rape, incest, prejudice, abandonment, and such like. In summary, though a woman’s life or past may be filled with tears and heartaches, with each day that she finds herself still living, she finds that she has grown stronger and risen a little higher because her circumstances have not overcome her. Thus, every new day can be one of hope and joy because regardless of the past, today, “still I rise”! ~Rosephanye Powell
“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb
III University Chorus
David L. Brunner, conductor
David L. Brunner
John Gillespie Magee, Jr. lived just 19 years. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force when the Spitfire VZ-H he was flying was descending at high speed through a break in the clouds and collided mid-air with an Airspeed Oxford trainer, just below the cloud base at 1,400 feet over the hamlet of Roxholme, Lincolnshire, England. His popular poem High Flight describes the delirious feeling of wheeling and soaring, and an intimate connection with the divine.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings: Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of, soared and swung, wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air… up, up the long, delirious burning blue I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace. Where never lark, or ever eagle flew; and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand and touched the face of God.
City Called Heaven
arr. Josephine Poelinitz
City Called Heaven is a “sorrow song” that is usually performed in the style of “surge-singing”. This arrangement is a slow gospel interpretation of the original.
arr. Arnold Sevier
Thomas A Dorsey was the “father of black gospel music” and was at one time so closely associated with the genre that songs written in the new style were sometimes known as “dorseys”. Precious Lord is perhaps the best known. It was created when Dorsey’s wife, Nettie Harper, died in childbirth in 1932, along with their infant son; Dorsey was inconsolable and wrote the song in his grief. It was first recorded by the Heavenly Gospel Singers in 1937 and was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s favorite song.
Sara Teasdale has been an important muse for vocal composers. Canadian composer Mark Sirett connects with the lyric romanticism of her verse, and has composed an harmonically luscious setting of these familiar lines “life has loveliness to sell… buy it and never count the cost”.
The galop, named after the fastest running gait of a horse, is a lively country dance, introduced in the late 1820s to Parisian society and popular in Vienna, Berlin and London. The galop was a forerunner of the polka and an even more lively, faster version called the can-can developed in Paris around 1830. Numerous galops were written by the “Waltz King” Johann Strauss II. Ken Berg’s Galop uses only solfege syllables as text. Hold on!
IV Combined Choirs
David L. Brunner
In remembrance of and to honor all those affected by the Pulse nightclub tragedy on June 12, 2016.
As the phoenix rises from its ashes, sings renewal as from winded horn, drawing deeply, filling up its lungs with breath and spirit, bound again, reborn. So, we too arise from ash and sorrow; so, we too awake from horror pain, linking breath and spirit to each other: linking, voice to voice, a choral chain. Weave these threads of music into life, as chords, like strings of heaven, bind us fast. Sing out loud the song of re-Creation! Sing we our tomorrow, not our past. How do we arise from ash, from terror? Cries each voice, “we’re healing as we sing.” Like the phoenix, we will rise from ashes; linking breath to spirit, song takes wing!
I Love You/ What a Wonderful World
arr. Craig Hella Johnson
Louis Armstrong’s performance of What a Wonderful World is a classic. This arrangement skillfully combines this well-known tune and message with Larry Norman’s I Love You.
“People all over the world, they’re openin’ up, they’re comin’ around and they’re sayin’ I love you.”
I see friends shaking hands, saying “How do you do?” They’re really saying, “I love you.”
Carla M. Aguilar
Joyce Camille Hernandez