by K. Lee Scott

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My Song in the Night
by Mack Wilberg

Winter 2011 Concert Notes

Tina Johns Heidrich, Conductor
Joseph Jacovino, Jr., Accompanist
Louise Fauteux, Soprano
Connecticut Master Chorale Orchestra and Pipes
Spring Ahead!

Daylight Saving Time
begins on Concert Day

Sunday March 13, 2011 - 3:00pm
St. Rose of Lima Church, Newtown, Connecticut

- Photos - Clips -
K. Lee Scott

K. Lee Scott
b. 1950

Requiem – K. Lee Scott

K. Lee Scott’s exquisitely written, deeply moving Requiem is a wonderful example of his masterful choral and orchestration skills. Widely known as a conductor and arranger of choral works, he has also been recognized as one of America’s foremost composers of religious music. He has published more than 300 works, and his hymns are found in eight hymnals, including A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools from Yale University Press.

This non-liturgical Requiem took Keaton Lee Scott almost twenty years to complete to his satisfaction and is written entirely in English. He has chosen eloquent texts from the Bible, as well as poet John Donne and hymn writer Timothy Dudley-Smith, for this uplifting Requiem. It is filled with inspiring descriptions of the beauty of the life to come in Heaven, in turns joyful, dramatic, tranquil, and again jubilant.

1. Blessed Are the Dead - Revelation 14:13. The Revelation (to John) is the final book of the New Testament of the Bible. This passage states that those who die are blessed, and they will rest from their labors in Heaven because of their good deeds on earth.

2. At the Round Earth’s Imagin’d Corners - The text is by John Donne (1572–1631), the English poet, lawyer, and priest who is regarded as the greatest of the English metaphysical poets. He wrote 19 Holy Sonnets between 1607 and 1613 that were published posthumously. This is the seventh sonnet in the collection, and the opening lines refer to Revelation 7:1, “I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth”.

3. Search Me, O God - Psalm 139:23-24, 7-10. Psalm 139 speaks of God’s complete knowledge and care.

4. A Vision of Heaven (Then One of the Elders) - Revelation 7:13-17, 4:8b, and Matthew 21:9b. These passages glorify God and reveal that believers will live with Him in His temple in Heaven, secure in His protection and love.

5. A City Radiant as a Bride (And the Angel Carried Me Away) - This hymn text is by Timothy Dudley-Smith (1926– ) who was formerly Bishop of Thetford and now lives in retirement in the Cathedral City of Salisbury, England. He has published more than 250 hymn texts including this one, which was inspired by Revelation 21:10-12a, 21-22.

6. The Lord Is My Shepherd - Psalm 23, reflecting on God’s love and mercy, is one of the most beloved and well-known Psalms from the Bible.

7. That Blessed Dependancy - The text is the final benediction from what was John Donne’s remarkable last sermon, “Death’s Duel”, given shortly before his death. Delivered at Whitehall in the presence of the King, it was said that Donne had preached his own funeral sermon and there was nothing left on earth for him to do.

Mack Wilberg

Mack Wilberg
b. 1955

My Song in the Night – Mack Wilberg

Mack Wilberg, the renowned Music Director and Conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, compiled and released My Song in the Night in 2009. This inspired six song collection reflects his passion for the music and melodies of the common man as passed down from one generation to the next. It honors the enduring nature of folk hymns and spirituals and their ability to anchor the soul in faith. They gave our forefathers hope, optimism, and solace, and continue to inspire us today.

1. Down to the River to Pray - The first mention of this traditional Appalachian song used the title “The Good Old Way” and is attributed to George H. Allen of Nashville in Slave Songs of the U.S., which was published in 1867. This early rendition urged people to come down to the valley to pray. There have been various other versions over the years, and it was sometimes known as “Come, Let Us All Go Down”. It was re-popularized eleven years ago in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

2. His Voice as the Sound - Joseph Swain (1761–1796) is the author of this lovely hymn text, “His voice as the sound of the dulcimer sweet”. A Baptist minister who lived in London, he was a prolific writer of poetry, essays, and hymn texts. The text is first found in America set to the southeastern Appalachian melody Samrantha in Ananias Davisson’s 1820 Supplement to Kentucky Harmony, and was later compiled by William Walker in the 1835 edition of Southern Harmony.

3. Bound for the Promised Land - This hymn text was written by Samuel Stennett (1727–1795), an English Baptist minister, who also happened to be a personal friend of King George III. It went on to find enormous popularity in 19th century America, and is found in the 1835 edition of Southern Harmony set to a tune called Promised Land composed by Miss M. Durham. This refrain was found in William Bradbury’s Devotional Hymn and Tune Book of 1864, where it was used as a chorus for Amazing Grace, an example of the many different ways these traditional songs were used in those times.

Bagpiper Chuck Connors

Bagpiper Chuck Connors

4. My God, My Portion, and My Love - Isaac Watts (1674–1748), the first prolific and popular English hymn writer, wrote more than 750 hymns, including this one. He was also a renowned theologian, logician, and essayist. The early hymnals of the time showed only the texts, and they were sung by the congregation to various tunes that were popular at the time. In America, this text is found in the 1835 edition of Southern Harmony, and the melody used is Dunlap’s Creek by Freeman Lewis.

5. My Song in the Night - Joseph Swain (1761–1796), who wrote His Voice as the Sound, is also the original source for this hymn, which was adapted from his “O Thou in Whose Presence”.

6. Amazing Grace - John Newton (1725–1807) wrote this beloved hymn from his own personal life experience. He went to sea as a young man, led a life of personal hardship, and eventually became a slave trader. A great storm caused him to call upon God to save him and began a change in the course of his life as he slowly realized the evil of slavery and left the sea to begin the study of theology. His writings about the realities of the slave trade were influential in convincing the English people that slavery should be banned. Ordained to the clergy in 1764, he began to write hymns to illustrate his sermons, and Amazing Grace was written to accompany a sermon on New Year’s Day of 1773. It is not known whether it was sung or chanted at that time, but it was associated with over 20 melodies before it was joined to the tune New Britain in 1835 and became the iconic hymn we are familiar with today. Dr. Wilberg has created a spectacular arrangement, complete with bagpipes.