Here is the University of North Texas Collegium Singers under the direction of Richard Sparks with the Bach motet Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf (The Spirit gives aid to our weakness).
A familiar spiritual, here in a new arrangement by Howard Helvey
The pieces of young American composer Elaine Hagenberg have caught my ear recently. Her setting of George Matheson’s famous hymn “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go” is breathtaking.
Dan Forrest’s new setting of The Church’s One Foundation is an impressive one, with the most wonderfully arranged acapella third verse to balance the fanfare that starts and ends the piece. It was commissioned by Duke University- here is the Duke Chapel Choir, the Duke Vespers Ensemble, and the Evensong Singers under the direction of Dr. Rodney Wynkoop at the piece’s world premiere last fall.
On this Easter morning, here is the Truro Cathedral Choir with Charles Wood’s late 19th century arrangement of a traditional Dutch Hymn, Vruechten (This Joyful Eastertide). Happy Easter!
Yesterday, Jeff and I made a quick trip to Abbotsford for the memorial of someone incredibly important in my musical upbringing. I realize how incredibly fortunate I was to grow up in a faith community filled not only with amazing music, but with a music environment where we kids were welcomed and nurtured to contribute. I accompanied the choir for three years as a teenager, something that greatly expanded my musical experience and introduced me to the the one thing in life I love to do more than almost anything else. Not all choir conductors are willing to take on 15 year old accompanists but Mr. B. did and in doing this, he forever changed my world. His memorial yesterday was a celebration of a life truly well lived.
There are many wonderful arrangements of Thomas A. Dorsey’s classic gospel hymn but this one, arranged by Diane Loomer and sung beautifully here by Vancouver based Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, is among my favourites.