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Update: The Dorn, and Chorale-oween!!

Hi all! Wow! What an lovely final concert we had last night. St. Helena’s is such a special space. I am so glad to have been able to make music with you all in there; I hope that that aspect made it all the more special for you all as well. Thanks to our wonderful friend Spencer, we have some Grade-A quality pictures of our time on tour! Access those here.

Looking forward!! This week is Bent But Not Broken, featuring our participation in the Henry Dorn commission collaboration! As such, we will really hunker down during rehearsal this week to get it all straightened out. Thank being said, PLEASE do your best to familiarize yourself with/learn the piece as much as possible on your own, so that rehearsals this week can be as efficient and valuable as possible! This musical work is so incredibly important, and I know you all want to do it as much justice as possible.

To register to BBNB, click here. To get UD student pricing, use the promo code “udstudent75”

Here are some resources to help you along your learning journey:

As mentioned before, click here to access a google folder with a bunch of helpful part tracks to practice along to! There is also a roadmap that Jay Besch made, so that you can skip around to all of the vocal moments in the score.

A very recent, full recording of the work made by Wind Ensemble, can be found here.

Program notes regarding the piece, provided by Julia:

Most people know Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his work as a civil rights activist and his efforts to promote equality from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. His words reverberate even now, nearly six decades later, with the United States plunging into an ever more polarized state. He knew well the power of words and the importance of an amplified voice. Dr. King, having grown up in the South, encountered an unfamiliar world in the North – one with a different vantage point on humanity and equality. After completing the residency requirements for his doctoral degree work at Boston University in 1953, he returned home to Atlanta, GA and began labor at his father’s church, Ebenezer Baptist Church (where Dr. King would eventually co-pastor). The country’s first African American owned and programmed radio station, WERD in Atlanta, began broadcasting from Ebenezer in July 1953. Dr. King’s final summer broadcast from Ebenezer aired on September 6, 1953, wherein he delivered a message titled “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” a sermon that would become a mainstay of Dr. King’s ministry. He also notably included the following prayer during the same broadcast:

Most Gracious and all wise God; Before whose face the generations rise and fall; Thou in whom we live, and move, and have our being. We thank thee [for] all of thy good and gracious gifts, for life and for health; for food and for raiment; for the beauties of nature and the love of human nature. We come before thee painfully aware of our inadequacies and shortcomings. We realize that we stand surrounded with the mountains of love and we deliberately dwell in the valley of hate. We stand amid the forces of truth and deliberately lie; We are forever offered the high road and yet we choose the lo to travel the low road. For these sins O God forgive. Break the spell of that which blinds our minds. Purify our hearts that we may see thee. O God in these turbulent days when fear and doubt are mounting high give us broad visions, penetrating eyes, and power of endurance. Help us to work with renewed vigor for a warless world, for a better distribution of wealth, and for a brotherhood that transcends race or color. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Dr. King’s prayer, which is the heart of my present work, Transcendence, sounds as current now as it might have sounded almost 70 years ago (to the day) from the completion of this piece. Dr. King’s admonition to his listeners reads like words pulled from an editorial page of one of today’s most prominent tabloids. They are timely statements for a weary world needing love, unity, peace, collaboration, and equity for all. 

Please let me know if you’re unable to access any of these resources!

Lastly: this Monday’s rehearsal is CHORALEOWEEN!!!! Please feel free to wear your Halloween costumes to rehearsal! The grad students have a group costume planned. Don’t let us be the only ones!

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