My SAB/piano piece, Even in Darkness, will have its world premiere this Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 6PM (note early time) by the Juilliard Pre-College Chorus. None of the young singers in the ensemble is a vocal major, yet there was evidence of some really strong musicianship nonetheless at the rehearsal I attended in December. The group’s Music Director, Esther Harris, had me lead the rehearsal for several minutes. It was particularly entertaining walking them through the random section, teaching them to ignore one of the basic tenets of choral singing, namely singing together as an ensemble!

Here is the very brief but evocative text by Wendell Berry, in the style of the spiritual nature poem he’s become known for:

Even in darkness, love
shows the circumference
of the world, lightning
quivering on horizons
in the summer night.

The piece was commissioned in 2009 by the Packer Collegiate Institute for its Concert Chorus, also led by Ms. Harris, but a change in chorus personnel following the composition made the piece a less suitable fit for that ensemble.

The concert will be held at Paul Hall at The Juilliard School, 155 W. 65th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Tickets are free.

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