With a Voice of Singing –Martin Shaw
The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee –Jean Berger
E’en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come –Paul Manz
Give Me Jesus –Larry L. Fleming
Witness –Jack Halloran
For the Beauty of the Earth –John Rutter
All Things Bright and Beautiful –John Rutter
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross –Gilbert Martin
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name –James Mulholland
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing –James Mulholland
Let Me Hide Myself in Thee (Rock of Ages) –Craig Courtney
All Creatures of Our God and King –Hayes
I Will Arise and Go to Jesus –Hayes
I Want Jesus to Walk With Me –Hayes
I’ve Been in the Storm So Long –Hayes
The God of Love My Shepherd Is –Hayes
Fairest Lord Jesus –Hayes
Spirit Suite –Hayes
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With a Voice of Singing –Martin Shaw
Martin Shaw – student of Charles Stanford while at the Royal College of Music, friend of Gustav Holst, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, John Ireland, and, most indelibly, Ralph Vaughan Williams – loved the theater almost as much as he loved music. He and Gordon Craig, a fellow producer with whom Shaw founded the Purcell Operatic Society, rescued Purcell’s music from oblivion (much as Mendelssohn had done for J.S. Bach), and Shaw threw himself into composing for the stage and conducting. Soon he partnered with the groundbreaking dancer Isadora Duncan, conducting orchestras for her throughout Europe. But English music always pulled him back, and it was their shared deep and passionate love of folk music and its preservation that forged such a strong bond between Shaw and Vaughan Williams. Shaw found himself drawn increasingly to church music as well, but not the mannered music of the cathedral tradition – he was more interested in music for amateurs, music that would enable smaller choirs and untrained parishes to share in the delight and fulfillment found in easily approachable music. One of his most important contributions to music history is his co-authorship of the Oxford Book of Carols; he was also a co-founder of the Royal School of Church Music, and an active organizer of hymn festivals. His cheerful anthem, With a voice of singing, was composed for one of his beloved festivals, the 1923 Annual Festival of the Rochester Diocesan Church Choirs Association.
The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee – Jean Berger
Jean Berger’s distinguished career took him throughout Europe, South America, and the Near East before he settled in America, becoming a citizen in 1943. He served in the U.S. Army Office of War Information during WWII, organizing USO shows for the servicemen. An accomplished linguist who spoke seven languages (he could hardly help it, as a German native who lived for many years in Paris and also in Rio de Janeiro before moving to the States), he was also a writer and musicologist in addition to his composing and accompanying, and even had his own day proclaimed by the Mayor of Denver in 1983. He served on the piano faculties of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, the University of Colorado, and the Colorado Women’s College, and continued an active career as a guest lecturer after his retirement. He also has the distinction of having composed the first harmonica concerto (there are also major works by Milhaud, Villa Lobos, and Vaughan Williams), for virtuoso Larry Adler. The text of The eyes of all wait upon thee, one of Berger’s best known works, is extracted from Psalm 145.
E’en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come –Paul Manz
Organist and composer Paul Manz held a variety of academic posts, including appointments at Macalester College, Concordia College, and the Lutheran School of Theology (Chicago), and most of his career was devoted to church music and leading worship services as organist and cantor. After his retirement, he continued to make appearances as a guest conductor and recitalist, earning special renown for his hymn improvisations. His lovely Advent anthem, E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come, is his best-known choral work. When their three-year-old son, John, was deathly ill and the medical staff had given up hope for him, Paul and Ruth Manz alternated vigils by the bedside. Ruth fashioned the text from Revelation 22 as a way of seeking comfort, and Paul found that the musical response flowed from him. After the child’s near-miraculous recovery, the published piece was dedicated “to John and all who prayed for him.” John continued the family’s tradition of service, becoming an ordained Lutheran pastor.
Give Me Jesus –Larry L. Fleming
Larry L. Fleming, who earned degrees in composition, conducting, and musicology, served as Director of Music at University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis. Concurrently, he taught music and liturgy at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, later becoming Director of Choral Activities and leading the Chapel Music program at Valparaiso University. After a brief European sojourn, he returned to teach at his alma mater, Concordia College, and then at Augsburg College, where the annual Advent Vespers series he founded still continues. Realizing a lifelong dream, he left his formal teaching role and founded the National Lutheran Choir. His sensitive arrangement of the poignant spiritual Give me Jesus has always been one of his most popular pieces.
For the Beauty of the Earth, All Things Bright and Beautiful –John Rutter
John Rutter is an extraordinarily prolific composer, and his music is so popular that rare indeed must be the choral singer who has never performed one of his pieces. He studied music at Clare College, Cambridge, and later became Director of Music there, but eventually gave up that post to devote himself to composition. In addition to being in great demand as a guest conductor, he formed the Cambridge Singers, a small professional choir that has made quite a name for itself through its many excellent recordings. For the beauty of the earth, which Rutter has set to an original tune, was written by English poet Folliot Sandford Pierpont, who was inspired during one of his daily rambles around Bath. All things bright and beautiful, again set to one of Rutter’s original tunes, was composed by Cecil Frances Alexander, wife of the Anglican primate for Ireland, who wrote hundreds of hymns (some of her others are Jesus calls us o’er the tumult, There is a green hill far away, and Once in Royal David’s city). The much-loved text of Gaelic Blessing has long been cited as a translation from an old rune, but in fact is extracted (and adapted, and de-paganized) from a longer poem by William Sharp, writing under a pseudonym as Fiona MacLeod, and published in 1895. Sharp, a Victorian Scotsman who was much interested in the popular Celtic revival, also edited the poetry of Ossian, an “ancient Celtic” poet who most scholars believe was really James McPherson.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – Gilbert Martin
Gilbert M. Martin, a Massachusetts native, received his degree from Westminster Choir College, where he was recently honored as a distinguished alumnus. An ASCAP Award-winning composer, he now lives in Dayton, Ohio, where he maintains a busy schedule as a guest composer and conductor. When I survey the wondrous cross is one of the many literary gems from the pen of theologian Isaac Watts, the “Father of English Hymnody,” who left us more than 700 hymns texts upon his death in 1748. The tune which is most recognized in this country is by the renowned Boston musician and educator Lowell Mason, who died in 1872.
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing – James Mulholland
James Mulholland received his training at Louisiana State University and Indiana University, and is currently a Professor in the Department of Music in the Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University. Interest in music came early, and he began studying various instruments and composition at the age of twelve. Now one of America’s leading choral composers, he accepts around ten commissions a year, and devotes several hours a day to his composing. He has become well known for the warmth and richness of his vocal writing, and his compositions have become staples of choral programs throughout the nation, as evidenced by the popularity of his own choral series with Colla Voce Music. All hail the power of Jesus’ Name is the best-remembered hymn of Edward Perronet, an Anglican minister who for a time worked closely with John and Charles Wesley as they established the Methodist Church, although they later had a falling out – and Perronet eventually had a falling out with the Anglican Church as well, ending his days as pastor of a small Congregational Church in Canterbury. This text is sung to several different hymn tunes, but that most familiar to Americans is Coronation, the work of Bostonian Oliver Holden, who first published it in his Union Harmony or Universal Collection of Sacred Music in 1793. The tune of Nettleton is found in John Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music, II (1813), a shape-note tunebook that became especially popular at revivals and camp-meetings. The text, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, is by the English ne’er-do-well turned Methodist minister Robert Robinson, and dates from 1758.
All Creatures of Our God and King
I Will Arise and Go to Jesus
I Want Jesus to Walk With Me
I’ve Been in the Storm So Long
The God of Love My Shepherd Is
Fairest Lord Jesus
Magnificat –Mark Hayes
Kansas City composer Mark Hayes is an Illinois native, where he first began his musical studies at the age of ten, his instrument a less-than-full-sized upright piano tucked as unobtrusively as possible into the family’s crowded trailer. A mere three years later, he was accompanying his church choir, and his flair for improvisation was immediately apparent. He began to hone his arranging skills while pursuing a degree in piano performance from Baylor University, and he made Kansas City his home in 1977. He has forged a truly impressive international career in contemporary Christian music, with compositions in virtually every genre and an active travel schedule as guest clinician and conductor. His style incorporates features from American popular music, such as jazz and gospel and folk, and he has said that he always tries to include an element of “surprise” in his works. In addition to frequent ASCAP awards, his 1986 album I’ve Just Seen Jesus won the Dove Award, the gospel world’s equivalent of a Grammy award. All Creatures of our God and King is one of the last hymns penned by St. Francis of Assisi, translated by William Draper for a children’s festival in England in the early 1900s; the famous melody, Lasst uns erfreuen, is a German tune dating to the 1600s. I will arise (more often called by the opening lyrics, Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy) is from the 19th-century shape note collection The Southern Harmony, compiled by William Walker. I Want Jesus to Walk With Me, I’ve Been in the Storm So Long and the three selections in the Spirit Suite (In That Great Gittin’ Up Morning, Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child and Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?) are all African American Spirituals, a musical tradition born out of the slaves’ deep need for comfort and community, songs which also served as sorely needed reminders that Jesus promised them a better life. The God of Love My Shepherd Is takes as its text a metrical setting of Psalm 23 by the great Renaissance metaphysical poet and preacher George Herbert. Fairest Lord Jesus is first documented in the 1600s as Schönster Herr Jesu, the work of German Jesuits, and was translated in 1873 by Joseph Seiss (popular mythology attributes it to 12th-century German Crusaders, but that is likely apocryphal). The Magnificat, Mary’s canticle of praise following Gabriel’s Annunciation (with its larger symbolic interpretation as Israel’s praise for the gift of redemption), serves as the highlight of the Vespers service, as it is the text during which the altar is censed.
– Kathryn Parke
The program notes for our concerts are written by a great friend of Charles Bruffy and the Chorale, Kathryn Parke. A soprano who specializes in early music, she taught for many years at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg Kansas. In addition to performance and research, her musical interests include composition and arranging, and her pieces have been performed by the PSU Choirs, the Early Music Consort of Kansas City, and several District Honor Choirs. She has written the liner notes for the majority of the Chorale’s recent CDs.