This next Saturday evening at 7:30 I hope you’ll join me and a hundred and twenty or so of my most musical friends as the Manassas Chorale and the Voices United 2013 Choir present a varied program of sacred and inspiring choral literature ranging from Handel to spirituals and gospel songs and back again.
The VU 2013 Choir, as we like to call it, draws from about thirty musical choirs and groups and will be under the direction of Pepper Choplin, an American composer and director, who will conduct the Choir during the second half of the program. Participants in the choir have attended several rehearsals and an all-day workshop with Pepper during the day on Saturday.
Tickets are available at the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts box office (on the Prince William campus of George Mason University). For more information, check out this link or visit the Chorale’s event notice on the Hylton site
Here’s a list of what we’ll be singing, along with some comments. (Please remember I was a literature major, not a music major.)
“God of Our Fathers”: a rousing anthem arrangement of the hymn by Mack Wiburg of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This one will lift you out of your seat!
“To God Be the Glory”: Arranged by Pepper Choplin, this piece presents a refreshing take on the old hymn.
“A Covenant Prayer”: New composer Dan Forrest does a lovely and inspiring setting of words by John Wesley.
“You Raise Me Up:” American composer Joseph Martin has here a powerful SATB version of the song made popular by Selah and Josh Groban.
“All Things Bright and Beautiful”: This arrangement shows John Rutter,The dean of British choral music at his best. Just lovely.
“Worthy Is the Lamb” and “Amen” from Messiah : Handel rocks!
“Tune My Heart:” arranged by Glenn A. Pickett sets “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” in an Appalachian mode.
“Prayer of St. Francis:” American composer Allen Pote’s arrangement of the poem by St. Francis of Assisi is a fresh take on an old text.
“Lay Up Your Treasures in Heaven:” Pepper Choplin indulges in a gospel style for this work. A lot of fun.
“This Is My Song:” This arrangement by Douglas E. Wagner, based on “Finlandia” by Jean Sibelius, uses the words of an old hymn for a fortuitous wedding of text and music.
“For the Beauty of the Earth:” Arranged by John Rutter. Ah, yes.
“Create in Me:” The words and music to this Voices United song were written by Manassas resident Kimberley Hill, who has also sung with the
Manassas Chorale. “Create in Me” is Kim’s third published
piece through Shawnee Press/Hal Leonard Corporation.)
“River in Judea”” A text by Jack Feldman, arranged by John Leavitt, provides a rich and spiritual musical experience.
“I’m Going Home:” Pepper Choplin evokes shape-note singing and the Sacred Harp songbook (1844) with this resonant anthem.
“One World:” This original composition by American composer Mark Hayes is both stirring and inspiring with its heartfelt wish for peace and unity.