Eugene Rogers Choral Series
Glory (from the major motion picture, Selma)
Winner of a 2015 Oscar Award, this inspirational song speaks of hope and looks to the future for healing in the midst of great division. Eugene's “gospel-like” setting offers comfort to the community and motivates individuals to keep working for a better tomorrow. Through the voice of a powerful soloist, male chorus and spoken word artists, the message of unity and hope is left ringing in our ears.
Let Us Plant Our Gardens Now
Grounded in the ideas, symbols, and threads of songs that have been born out of adversity, Dominick hints at South African freedom songs, 6/8 Gospel anthems and other styles indicative of this style. Megan Levad's text speaks to our need for “neighborhood” as we all search for ways to be connected to those around us.
Considered by choral scholars to be the first notated vocal polyphony in the Americas, this hymn tune from Peru but written in a European classical style is a wonderful addition to the men's choir repertoire. An IPA pronunciation guide is included with the octavo as well as percussion parts for three hand percussion players. This arrangement also works well when performed a cappella.
Bound for the Promised Land
Written at the request of Eugene Rogers for his new series, “Bound for the Promised Land” uses three 19th-century melodies: the shape note hymn “The Promised Land;” and two Appalachian fiddle tunes, “Santa Anna's Retreat” and “The Temperance Reel.” Using the Celtic phenomenon called mouth music or lilting, the singers accompany the dance music as fiddlers in a light and energetic fashion.
Come and Go to that Land
Combining two traditional spirituals, “Come and go with me” and “Come and go with me to my Father's House,” Brandon Waddles has created an arrangement that harkens the sounds of an African-American work song and Southern male gospel quartet. Brandon uses the a cappella style of the spiritual, the extended harmonies of jazz and the motivic and rhythmic drive of gospel in this arrangement to make the pairing of these two selections a joyous community expression.
Composer Greg Simon writes that “Spirit” is, like the poem that inspired it, a fantasia on both the sweeping American landscape of Whitman's text, and the inner heartland to which all artists must listen if they are to form their own scenes. With an a cappella opening in the style of an African-American spiritual or working song, Simon tansitions to an energetic and passionate setting accompanied by a toure de force piano part that will highlight a fine accompanist.
Capturing the importance of the Greenfield poem and the dramatic story of Harriet Tubman's life, Rollo Dilworth has crafted a powerful new spiritual. Tubman was often referred to as a conductor of the Underground Railroad and as the “Moses” of her people. In recognition of these titles, musical themes from the spirituals If I Got My Ticket and Go Down, Moses have been incorporated into the score.
Walk in Jerusalem
Already available for SATB and SSA, now, at last, an arrangement for men. With a powerful piano accompaniment, your men will really be able to “dig in” and sing with the full power of their voices.
Number 3 from “The Greatest of These” (No. 1, Unseen and No. 2, Echoes) this movement is written on the virtue of love. Set in a “repetitive, trance-like” exploration of personal experiences. The treatment of these motives creates an energized tone, constantly and unexpectedly bubbling over the top of its secret confines as joy that cannot be contained.
Que No Mueran
The poet writes that “The loving heart begs his lover not to let his kisses die. If his kisses die, then too does their love.” This same passion is captured in the four verses of music as the melody passes among voices. Wide dynamic ranges are required from the singers and awareness of where the melody is within the ensemble is critical.
The Peace of the Wild Things
Commissioned by Chorus America for the Boston Children's Chorus in memory of the first anniversary of the Boston Bombing. Berry's text describes the uncertainty of the human condition that can be felt in our violent contemporary times, and the fear of the world that our children will inherit. The Peace of Wild Things has become a memorial against all violence in our society.
Number 2 from “The Greatest of These” (No. 1, Unseen and No. 3, Flight) this movement is written on the virtue of hope. Using a rich yet simple harmonic palette that strives to create a sense of nostalgia. Hope here assures that in the darkest of experiences, when all joy is but a distant flicker of light, it serves as a spark for the immortal flame of life that can illuminate even from the deepest shadows.
Combining two spirituals with original music and employing two soloists, this arrangement from first time contributor Carlos Simon is amazing. Series editor Eugene Rogers wrote and said “get this piece in print so I can begin programming it!” High praise indeed.
Number 1 from “The Greatest of These” (No. 2, Echoes and No. 3, Flight) this movement, is written on the virtue of faith. It is largely atmospheric as it depicts the endlessly shifting vaporous uncertainty of ones belief in the unprovable. In this second year of releases in the Eugene Rogers Series, this set of three will be a great addition to the male chorus repertoire.
Volta is written with an attempt to answer the question of why love, or beauty, requires nothing of us in order to spark, and yet we will give everything to protect it. “When love stirs, it asks for nothing but a world made safe for truth, for beauty, for the tense blooming.” This is program music which is asking for our full range of musicianship and emotion.
Commissioned by Jerry Blackstone for the University of Michigan Chamber Choir, Sunset captures the image-rich poem by Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Dunbar's poem captures the familiar and solemn atmosphere that we call “dusk” or “end of day” while composer Knaggs evokes a bit of the mystery and nostalgia into the cosmic wonders that become visible during and after the setting of the sun.