New Works Poetry

Worlds Touch with a Kiss (WORLD PREMIERE) by Alexi Alan (b. 1955)
Jewish Prayer by Yossi ben Abin, 4th Century Talmudic Scholar

The day of death is when two worlds meet with a kiss:
this world going out, the future world coming in.

Windsong by Dan Forrest (b. 1978)
Poem by Eileen Berry

For so long, wind was all I heard, when I heard anything at all.
Winter held its silent spell. Nothing stirred.
For so long wind was all I heard.

Today, when I kept still a time, sounds began small, on wind.
Quiet on wind, a frail bell posed a chime.

How often now I hear them peal. Liquid silver notes fall.
A never ceasing song to tell how things heal.

Lay Me Low by Addah Z. Potter, arr. Kevin Siegfried (b.1969)
Shaker Song

Lay me low. Where the Lord can find me, where the Lord can own me,
where the Lord can bless me. Lay me low.

Darest Thou Now O Soul (WORLD PREMIERE)  by Michael McCabe (b. 1941)
Poem by Walt Whitman

Darest thou now O soul, walking with me toward the unknown region.
Where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow?

No map there, nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
nor face with blooming flesh, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not O soul, nor dost thou, all is a blank before us.
All waits undreamed of in that region, that inaccessible land.

Till when the ties loosen, all but the ties eternal.
Time and space, nor darkness, gravitation,
nor any bounds bounding us.

Then we burst forth, we float, in time and space O soul, prepared for them.
Equal, equipped at last, (O joy! O fruit of all) them to fulfill O soul,
then to fulfill O soul.

Lamentations of Jeremiah by Z. Randall Stroope (b. 1953)
Biblical text commemorating the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem in 586 BCE

O vos ómnes qui transítis per víam, atténdite et vidéte:
Si est dólor símilis sícut dólor méus.

O all you who walk by on the road, pay attention and see:
if there be any sorrow like my sorrow.

I Believe (Ani Mahmaain) by Michael McCabe (b. 1941)
Poem written on the wall of a basement in Cologne, Germany during the Holocaust

I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in love, even when feeling it not.
I believe in God, even when God is silent.

O Lux Beatissima by Howard Helvey (b. 1968)
Text attr. Stephen Langton (d. 1228), Archbishop of Canterbury

O lux béatissima, réple cordis
íntima tu órum fedélium Síne túo nómine, níhil est
in hómine, níhil est in nóxium.

O light most blessed, fill the inmost heart of all thy faithful.
Without your grace, there is nothing in us, nothing that is not harmful.

There Will Be Rest by Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)
Poem by Sara Teasdale

There will be rest, and sure stars shining
Over the roof-tops crowned with snow,

A reign of rest, serene forgetting,
The music of stillness holy and low.

I will make this world of my devising
Out of a dream in my lonely mind.

I shall find the crystal of peace
above me Stars I shall find.

Be by Marjorie Halloran (b. 1985)
Poem by Marjorie Halloran

Deep breath. In. Out. Again. Relax.
Be in the moment. Be silent. Be silence. Be, just be, and simply be.

Focus on nothing. Calm your body, quiet your mind.
Clear your head. Don’t panic.

Be, just be, and simply be.

Earth Song by Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)
Poem by Frank Ticheli

Sing, Be Live, See…

This dark stormy hour, the wind, it stirs.
The scorched earth cries out in vain.

O war and power, you blind and blur,
the torn heart cries out in pain.

But music and singing have been my refuge,
and music and singing shall be my light.

A light of song Shining strong: Alleluia!
Through darkness, pain, and strife,
I’ll Sing, Be, Live, See, Peace.

Waiting by Howard Helvey (b. 1968)
Poem by John Burroughs

Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate,
For, lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it hath sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.

The stars come nightly to the sky
The tidal wave unto the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.

Nyon Nyon by Jake Runestad (b. 1986)
Nonsense syllables that explore the human voice

A reminder of the joy of singing for its own sake, even without a poetic text. The nonsense syllables, coined by the composer, explore all the sounds that the human voice can make to produce an array of vocal colors within the ensemble It’s a wild sonic experience that turns the Chorale into a full-fledged vocal orchestra.

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