Concert Selections from our 2021 program in performance order
See brief program notes at the bottom of the left column.
Resilience, we are strong;
shoulder to shoulder keep movin' on,
Resilence, make a new plan; stand up again and say yes we can.
Oh! Oh! We are strong; hold on!
I wanna make it and I know we will,
yes...it's hard to keep goin' but it's worse to stand still.
I am glad daylong for the gift of song,
For time and change and sorrow;
For the sunset wings and the world-end things
Which hang on the edge of tomorrow.
I am glad for my heart whose gates apart Are the entrance-place
Where dreams come in from the rush and din
Like sheep from the rains and thunders.
O lux beata Trinitas
O Light eternal Trinity,
et principalis Unitas
sole, undivided Unity.
iam sol recedit igneus
the fiery sun goes his way;
infunde lumen cordibus
light in our hearts Thy sacred ray.
O lux beata.
O Light eternal.
Te mane laudum carmine, te deprecemur vespere:
To Thee our morning lauds of praise to Thee our evening song we raise.
te nostra supplex gloria, gloria.
oh, may it still our glory be, glory be
percuncta laudet saecula.
to hymn Thy name eternally.
Deo patri sit gloria. eiusque soli Filio.
And all praise to the Father be, allpraise. Eternal Son to Thee.
cum Spirito, Paraclito et nunc et in perpetuum
All glory, as ever meet, to God the Holy Paraclete
O lux beata
O Light eternal.
So fades the lovely blooming flow'r,
Frail, smiling solace of an hour,
So soon our transient comforts fly,
And pleasure only blooms to die..
Is there no kind, no healing art
To soothe the anguish of the heart?
Spirit of grace, be ever nigh;
Thy comforts are not made to die.
Let gentle patience smile on pain,
Till dying hope revives again;
Hope wipes the tear from sorrow's eye,
and faith point upward to the sky.
Hear me brothers
I have a confession painful to make
Six years I have endured a curse that deepens everyday.
They say that soon I'll cease to hear the very music of my soul.
What should be the sense...most perfect in me...fails me,
shames me, taunts me, a silence haunts me.
They ask me, Do you hear the shepherd singing far off soft
Do you hear a distant fluting dancing joyously a loft...
No...I think so...No...I think so...No.
God am I Prometheus exiled in chains for gifting humankinid my fire
Exiled in chains for gifting humankind my fire...
Exiled in chains!
Take my feeling, take my sight, take my wings mid-flight but let me hear, let me hear, let me hear the searing roar of air before I score the ground!
Why? Why? Why?
And so I beg me...take...my life!
when lo...I hear a grace...and feel a ringing in me after all...
So now as leaves of autumn fall I make my mark and sign my name and turn again to touch my flame of music to the world.
A broken man, as best I can...
A bell...a bell...
Hear me and be well, be well.
Resilience still seemed a natural for a theme for 2021. We had actually chosen this piece and had planned to perform much of this program in 2020. The pandemic shut us down. Thus, we return to Abbie Betinis' wonderful little round from the "Justice Song Book" as a theme and starting point for our concert.
I Am Glad was written by the talented Dan Schreiner, a bass in Chor Anno. Dan just finished his Master's Degree at CWU and returns to sing with us. We are glad, too!
O lux beata Trinitas could not be resisted. This beautifully written choral work is by Slovenia's Andrej Makor. Makor has degrees in composition and vocal music from the Slovenian Academy of Music in Ljubljana.
Distress, arranged by our own Reg Unterseher, is ponderous and deliberately harsh in style. It was written as a hymn and appeared in "Southern Harmony" and other hymnals of early America, but it not so much thelogical as it is a heart-wrenching expression of sorrow and loss.
A Silence Haunts Me is by our friend Jake Runestad. The text is taken from a letter written by Ludwig van Beethoven to his brothers. Beethoven agonizes over his impending deafness. We had intended to sing this piece in 2020, a kind of celebration of the 250th year of Beethoven's birth. Alas, 2020 was not possible.
A Little Song of Life has words by Lizette Woodworth-Reese and music by Reg Unterseher. Profound...energy, hope, joy. "All that we need to do...grow nearer the sky."
Abide (no, not the hymn "Abide With Me") use poetry by Jake Adam York. Dan Forrest, the composer, says he "seeks to evoke a sense of Americana on a warm late-summer evening." Let the beauty of this one envelop you.
Terre Neuve takes us to the northeast with Canadian composer Marie-Claire Saindon's wonderful tribute to Newfoundland. Considering what we are going through, the joy of new found land is exactly what we need!
Emerald Stream, by Seth Houston, was conceived by the young composer during a month-long canoe trip with his father in northern Canada. It draws inspiration from shaped-note New England styled hymns and "the rhythm of the paddle." But it's not a hymn. It's a call to "listen to the earth and hear her cry!" Be resilient. Let's do this!
Like a River in My Soul is based on the traditional spiritual. It's sung by the sopranos and altos of the group. "When the world closes in, feel the stillness within!" Feel the resilience!
A Place in the Choir is sung by the tenors and basses. Sheer fun.
How Can I Keep From Singing - Paul Aitken wrote this one during a time of deep stress for him and his wife, MacKenzie. They were members of Chor Anno and traveled from their home city of Boise to sing in the 2019 concerts. In December of that year MacKenzie had a stroke. Months later, and two days before her scheduled release from the hospital, they lost their 16-year-old son to depression. Paul, a renowned composer, set the words of "How Can I Keep From Singing" anew, virtually charting, through the verses, their loss and their regaining of strength and hope. Resilience! The Aitkens now live in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.
Deep Peace - While there are many versions of Irish blessings, our friend Elaine Hagenberg, captures the depth of these lyrics beautifully What a fitting summation to our theme of "Resileince."
Glad that I live am I: That the sky is blue;
Glad for the country lanes, And the fall of dew.
After the sun the rain, After the rain the sun;
This is the way of life, Till the work be done.
All that we need to do, Be we low or high,
Is to see that we grow Nearer the sky.
(poem by Lizette Woodworth Reese (1856-1935)
ABOUT THE PIECE (by composer, Reg Unterseher)
The energy, hope and positive energy in the poem is reinforced by the layered rhythms and syncopations in both the piano and voice parts. The poem is divided into three parts. The first part is an expression of the feeling of the joy of the natural world. The middle section explores in simple terms the cyclical nature of natural systems. When the musical material returns, it is both recognizable and developed a little more each time. The third section introduces the last lines of the poem as a mantra, repeated back and forth between two parts while a descant group soars above them.
Forgive me, if I forget with the birdsong and the day's last glow folding into the hands of the trees, (repeated)
Forgive me the few syllables of the autumn crickets, the year's last firefly winking like a penny in the shoulder's weeds.
forgive me, if I forget the hour, If I forget the day as the evening star Pours out its whiskey over the gravel and asphalt I've walked for years alone.
Forgive me, if I startle when you put your hand in mine.
If I wonder how long your light has taken to reach me here.
(Sung by the sopranos/altos of Chor Anno...in French)
Land, Land Land!
Splattered with shrieks of sun
With colors of ocean and rock rust-red,
the cliff splits, crackling ice,
a fresh taste of shivering snow
stirs a shrouded memory, mingles with the wind
spirals vibrant with the salt of a joy,
New found land!
Come now, and gather in the glade where the Em-'rald Stream and the Evening Shade and meditate on the works He's made, great God, our sov-'reign Lord.
Join us, now, the meadow is green and the waters pure and the woods serene and the flow-ing air is fresh and clean where God His blessings pour'd.
Feel the wind come down, hear it whistle as it goes, it brings us sun and it brings us snows, it blows....a blessing from above.
And the sun comes up, and the sun goes down, and the stars and the moon go 'round and 'round, go 'round in witness to His love.
Hear now, ye sons of men, for danger lurks in this great garden; the Lord will visit once again to see what we have done.
As God is the shepherd and we are the sheep, we our mother Earth must keep, maintain the air, protect the deep; at Judgment Day He'll come.
See the Lord come down, hear Him whistle as He goes, He bears a thunderbolt and a rose, He goes, remember all His pow'r.
See the Lord come down, face shining bright, His holy feet are soiled but His robe is white, shines bright; you will regret that hour.
So now, my people beware, you're in charge of the seas and the earth and the air, you'd better take ex-tr'or-di-nar-y care of the Earth, our only home.
All glory be to God on high, shout praises loudly to the sky, listen to the Earth, and hear her cry, and in Heaven forever roam.
I've got peace like a river, like a river in my soul,
I've got peace like a river, soothing river, calmly flow,
When the world closes in, feel the stillness within
I've got peace like a river, like a river in my soul.
I've got love like an ocean, like an ocean in my soul,
I've got love like an ocean endless ocean, deep and full.
When you're lost and alone, let the waves bring you home.
I've got love like an ocean, like an ocean in my soul.
I've got joy, I've got joy, I've got joy like a fountain in my soul.
I've got joy like a fountain, like a fountain in my soul.
When your hope nearly dies, just remember, once again you shall rise!
I've got joy like a fountain, peace like a river, in my soul.
All God's critters got a place in the choir, some sing low, some sing higher, some sing out loud on the telephone wire, and some just clap their hands or paws or anything they got now! (Chorus -repeated)
Listen to the top where the little birds sing on the melodies with the high notes ringing the hoot owl hollers over ev'rything and the jaybird disagrees!
Singin' in the night time, singin' in the day, the little duck quacks, then he's on his way, the possum ain't got much to say and the porcupine talks to himself!
JUG BAND (vocally)
Listen to the bass, it's the one on the bottom where the bullfrog croaks and the hippopotamus moans and groans with a big t'do...and the old cow just goes MOO!
The dogs and the cats they take up the middle while the honey bee hums and the cricket fiddles, the donkey brays and the pony neighs and the old coyote howls.
It's a simple song of living sung e'vrywhere by the ox and the fox and the grizzly bear, the grumpy alligator and the hawk above the sly raccoon and the turtle dove.
My life flows on in endless song, above earth's lamentation,
I catch the sweet, though far off hymn that hails a new creation...
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I'm clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heav'n and earth, How can I keep from singing?
Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing,
It finds an echo in my soul, How can I keep from singing?
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I'm clinging,
Since Christ is Lord of heav'n and earth, how can I keep from singing?
What though my joys and comforts die?
I know my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth.
How can I keep from singing?
How can I keep from singing? How can I keep from singing? Alleluia!
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, A fountain ever springing!
All things are mine since I cam his! How can I keep from singing?
No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that Rock I'm clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heav'n and earth, how can I keep from singing?
Alleluia. How can I keep from singing?
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
the light of the world to you.