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Celebrate Unceasing Love from Stephen Paulus

Spring Concert, Sunday, June 7

Celebrate Unceasing Love from Stephen Paulus
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 James Walker
photo of California coast

Pilgrims’ Hymn by Minneapolis composer Stephen Paulus (1949–2014) headlines our Spring Concert on Sunday, June 7.

Stephen passed away in October 2014 from complications of a stroke he suffered in 2013. He wrote over 600 works for chorus, opera, orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo voice, concert band, piano, and organ, receiving premieres and performances throughout the world as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2015. He was an ardent advocate and mentor to many young composers, co-​founding the American Composers Forum in 1973, the largest composer service organization in the world.

Pilgrims’ Hymn is a poignant anthem from Stephen’s one-​act opera The Three Hermits (based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy), written with his frequent collaborator and friend, librettist Michael Dennis Browne. It has been performed by thousands of choirs all over the world, and I am thrilled that Canterbury and Coventry choirs will combine to sing this deeply moving piece which has at its foundation, “unceasing love.”

Zanaida Robles co-​conducts

It is a joyful process preparing for this concert, collaborating with my brilliant colleague — singer, composer, conductor — Zanaida Robles. With the Associate Organist-​Choirmaster position currently open, Zanaida is energetically stepping in to co-​conduct this concert — and several Sunday services in May and June — with me.

This concert also provides the opportunity for me to prepare some serious “big fat” organ accompaniments, particularly movements from Louis Vierne’s monumental Messe solennelle and C. Hubert Parry’s grand I Was Glad. Also on the program are two of Dr. Robles’s original compositions and one of my spiritual arrangements, plus music of Ola Gjeilo, Knut Nystedt, Hall Johnson and Keith Hampton.

The Spring Concert is always a wonderful way to celebrate and cap the program year with both our inspiring All Saints adult choirs, and I hope you can attend.