I hope you had a great holiday season. “Ancient Melodies” concerts were filled with gorgeous music and the pieces were well received by our wonderful audiences! I look forward to a wonderful concert this term as well!
The idea of our concert, “The Definition of Beauty” comes from four Emily Dickinson poems on that theme. Each reading of this set of poems brings more understanding and appreciation of their own poetic beauty.
The poems are set to music by the brilliant American composer Alice Parker. Alice Parker sadly passed away on Christmas Eve this past year at the age of 98. We will miss her dearly. In addition to her great contribution to American music, I personally can attest to her warmth and caring for everyone around her.
Our concert will be divided into four sections, each reflecting the theme of the corresponding poem.
The Definition of Beauty is
that definition is none–
Of Heaven, easing analysis,
since Heaven and He are one
- At The River – Folk/Copland
- Bright Morning Stars – Folk/Kirchner
- No Time – Folk/Brumfield
- Ain’a That Good News – Spiritual/Dawson
Beauty be not caused It Is
Chase it, and it ceases
Chase it not, and it abides
Overtake the Creases
In the Meadow when the Wind
Runs his fingers thro’ it
Deity will see to it
That You never do it
- The Pasture – Thompson
- Choose Something Like a Star – Thompson
- maggie and milly and molly and may – Persichetti
- Don’t Fence Me In – Porter/Leyden
So gay a Flower
Bereaves the Mind
As if it were a Woe—
Is Beauty an Affliction—then?
Tradition ought to know—
- The Cloths of Heaven – Stroope
- David’s Lamentation – Shank
- Nootka Paddle Song – Raminsh
- The Boy Who Picked Up His Feet To Fly – Shank
Estranged from Beauty — none can be–
For Beauty is Infinity —
And power to be finite ceased
Before Identity was leased.
- Sure On This Shining Night – Barber
- Of Crows and Clusters – Dello Joio
- Gate Gate – Tate
Many of us will be taking these pieces to Italy in the late spring so, since European audiences want to hear American music from an American choir, all of these pieces were written by North Americans (two Canadians). Also, the poetry is either by American poets or reflect American ideas. The great American poets represented: Robert Frost, e. e. cummings, Cole Porter, James Agee, many folk poets whose names have been lost, and, of course, Emily Dickinson.
The sheet music for all of these pieces is already on siskiyousingers.org. The password to the members section is “silentnight”. There are also YouTube videos below for most of the pieces.
Our concerts will be May 4 and 5 at SOU Recital Hall. Rehearsals will be held Tuesdays at Ashland United Methodist Church starting at 7:00 PM on Jan. 23. Be sure to invite your choral-singing friends to audition. They can audition at 6:30 pm on Jan. 23 or 30 by arranging an audition with me before our first rehearsal. Please have them send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an audition time.
This will be a wonderful, meaningful concert! I look forward to seeing all of you!