As we are on a break for the summer, I wanted to let you know that your music staff isn’t resting. We are busy preparing for what will be an extraordinary Fall season of choral music at Kingwood United Methodist Church. I have many things in mind for the coming year. I can’t wait to begin our first true season of rehearsals in August! It’s going to be so exciting to dig in on some great music!
What’s the upcoming work?
If you remember way back in May, I spoke of plans for us to observe All-Saints Sunday (November 3, 2019 . . . time TBD) with a major work. I also said that it would be something that we learned together — something that neither of us had done prior. That was quite a challenge to locate a selection that met this criteria. It’s taken a bit to search for just the right selection.
I believe I have found such a piece.
For the Fall, we will be learning a work by British composer Howard Goodall titled Eternal Light: A Requiem. It is a work of immense beauty that offers lyrical simplicity as well as a level of difficulty befitting our excellent ensemble.
What does it sound like? Below are three movements from the work. Click on them to listen:
Lacrymosa: Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Revelation: Factum est silentium
Kyrie: Close Now Thine Eyes
(You can search the title of the work on YouTube to hear other movements of the work.)
To read program notes from a recent concert programming of the work, click HERE.
How’s this gonna work exactly?
Some things to keep in mind . . .
1) There is Latin to be learned.
For some persons, singing in another language is difficult. Yes, there are portions of the work that are in Latin but there are equal amounts of English, too. Why do Latin? Well, not only is it a beautiful language in which to sing, it helps a choir improve on vowel purity. While I can’t say that you will ever be as comfortable with Latin as you are with English, I will give you adequate drill on the text to get you as comfortable as we can. Only choose pieces in the English language and you will miss some of the most extraordinary and memorable choral music created for the glory of God. Trust me — we got this!
2) It will be outside of the regular worship service.
We will not be offering the work in the midst of a worship service on Sunday morning. At 50 minutes, it’s simply too long to do that. Therefore, we will do it on a Sunday afternoon. I’m not exactly sure of the time just yet.
3) Can others join us to sing?
Absolutely. I would be very happy if you have friends who would come and sing with us. However, they must make weekly Wednesday rehearsals. They can’t simply come to three or four and pick it up. Must they make all? No. However, they must attend regularly.
4) Is this all we’ll be doing in the Fall?
No. In addition to our regular anthem presentations and All-Saints, I plan on us having a “Christmas Pops Concert” on December 15 in the afternoon. It will be lighter fare to compliment the seriousness of the Goodall piece. What musical selections will we be performing? What groups will be sharing the Chancel with us? Well, stay tuned for more information on this fabulous event.
I just want to add how wonderful it is to be in ministry with each of you. In the short time we have worked together, I’m thrilled with the music that we’ve made together. This choir is amazing and I feel honored to be in front of you. On a more personal note, Rhonda and I feel included and welcome. I am very excited that we can learn this music and share it with those in the greater Houston area.
Soli Deo Gloria,