Join us for a trip the length and breadth of the United States, from earliest days to the present, sampling from our rich cultural heritage — shapenote hymns and worksongs, spirituals and new works, even a musical fireworks display!
We highlight African American spiritual arrangements by William Dawson, Moses Hogan and Jacqueline Hairston. Folk and patriotic songs include Erb’s beloved “Shenandoah”, Roy Harris’ “Freedom’s Land”, and SFCA alumnus Mark Keller’s folk song medley.
Also featured are works based on tunes and texts from other cultures, including settings of Chinese folk songs by multiple award-winner Chen Yi, Alice Parker’s Ladino lullaby, “Durme”, local composer Ted Allen’s Mexican-inspired “Coyote Song”, and Leonard Bernstein’s jazzy updating of a Renaissance tune.
Among other 20th century pieces, we present Charles Ives’ rarely performed “Psalm 24” and George Rochberg’s Hebrew setting of Psalm 150, as well as works by local composers Richard Felciano and Linda Mankin. The program also includes works by notable American composers Samuel Barber, Elliott Carter, and William Schuman, as well as texts by American poets Emily Dickinson, Allen Ginsberg, Archibald MacLeish, and Walt Whitman. We’ll have fun with Ernst Toch’s “Geographical Fugue” and the performance will end with a bang with “Fireworks” – a world premiere from 2007 Composer-in-Residence Jerry Mueller.