We plan to present this program in March 2023

To Hope! A Celebration
by Dave Brubeck

~ plus ~

I'm Gonna Sing!
by André Thomas

Concert Notes

Tina Johns Heidrich, Conductor
Joseph Jacovino, Jr., Accompanist
Wendy Gerbier, Soprano
Marques Hollie, Tenor
Connecticut Master Chorale Orchestra


- Soloists -

To Hope! A Celebration – Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck Centennial
Connecticut Master
Chorale is part of
the Dave Brubeck
Centennial Celebration
Chris Brubeck with Tina

Chris Brubeck with Tina Heidrich
at the March 2000 Chorale
performance of To Hope!
To Hope! A Celebration is an exciting work of grand proportion. It is a monumental affirmation of hope and exultation. Composed in 1979, T0 Hope! is a dynamic work. It is multi-faceted. It contains elements of fugal writing reminiscent of the Baroque period, the large scale chordal sections of Classical composers, the colors of the Romanticists, the rhythms and chord structures of the Modernists and the uninhibited joy of Gospel. It remembers the Latin and the Greek; it is Middle Eastern and Middle European; it is Native American and Hispanic; it is past and present. It evokes musical textures and images that ride on the meanings and rhythms of the text. It contains profoundly moving passages, dance-like rhythms, deep emotion, and optimism.

Legendary jazzman Dave Brubeck has also gained wide recognition as a composer of Classical orchestral works, ballets, chamber music, oratorios and cantatas. He is the creator of what has become a sizeable shelf of remarkable choral works. His superb choral writing spans the ages and captures an extensive timelessness. To Hope! is a musical symbol of what American Christians are – a collection of traditions and experiences, made one by faith in the Lord Jesus. Its emotional impact runs from expressions of sorrow to exulting joy and fervor. "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord" - Psalm 100 says - and this is the credo for Dave Brubeck and To Hope!

Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck
(1920 - 2012)

"The heart of To Hope! is found in the words themselves, living language full of deep meaning, born from the very human need to know God. It is language shaped by tradition and honed fine by usage, embodying within it the seeds for understanding. I approached the composition as prayer, concentrating upon the phrases, trying to probe beneath the surface, hoping to translate into music the powerful words which have grown through the centuries.

"Emotions that are life, from sorrow to exaltation, were part of my experience in writing To Hope! When the work was complete, I felt a strong sense of wholeness and affirmation. I pray that those who experience the work will share my feelings."

- Dave Brubeck

I’m Gonna Sing! – André Thomas
A collection of spirituals by the master of spiritual form

Andre Thomas

André Thomas
(b. 1952)

  • I’m Gonna Sing – an extremely creative arrangement of the traditional spiritual. Adding the text "Sing on! Dance on!" and using swing rhythms in both voices and accompaniment, Thomas makes the most of the dance-like feel.
  • Band of Angels – a bluesy, swinging number in which Thomas has combined original material with four traditional spirituals to create a choral showcase that is simply exhilarating!
  • Keep Your Lamps – a somber yet confident arrangement of this traditional spiritual. From the parable of the ten virgins, the message is to keep your lamps trimmed and burning because you never know when the bridegroom (Christ) will return.
  • Swing Down Chariot – a sensational choral work that’s rhythmically exciting from beginning to end, this is a masterfully-written work with creative twists on the verses and an exhilarating finale.
  • Beautiful City – incorporating the spirituals Oh, What a Beautiful City and In Bright Mansions Above, Thomas' extraordinary work creates a poignant musical image of the slaves' viewpoint of heaven - full of wonderful harmonic colors and dynamic contrasts.
  • Deep River – harmonies, lush choral textures and stunning dynamic contrasts are hallmarks of this superb arrangement that is reflective and deeply moving.
  • If you’re Happy / Amen – a refreshing spiritual setting in a light swing style, with a walking bass line and jazzy harmonies, this buoyant arrangement of two traditional spirituals is full of joy and optimism.
  • John Saw Duh Numbuh – From its fanfare-like opening to its dynamic conclusion, this exhilarating arrangement of the traditional spiritual will ignite excitement in both singers and audiences!

See the Sheet Music autographed to Tina by André Thomas.