This Sunday is Pentecost, and a small group from the choir will sing the anthem, “O Breath of life,” by the British composer Alan Bullard, incorporating a traditional English folk tune. The organ music this Sunday is by Maurice Duruflé, from his “Prelude, Adagio, et Choral varié sur le thème du Veni Creator.” Duruflé was a French organist, composer, and perfectionist who was famously critical of his own compositions. He published very little, and continued to revise pieces even after they had appeared in print.
This week the Choristers and Singers will be participating in worship, singing three different anthems. The two choirs will combine for “Wade in the Water,” in an arrangement by Bruce Trinkley. This is a traditional African-American spiritual whose words have a dual meaning — on the one hand, they refer to the practice of baptism, but also served as advice to runaway slaves that they should use water to throw bloodhounds off their scent. The “Moses” referred to in the song could mean both the Biblical figure and Harriet Tubman, who led many slaves to freedom. The Choristers will also sing “Spirit Boundless,” by Betty Ann Ramseth, which incorporates the 17th-century German chorale, “Werde Munter.” The final anthem is “When You Pass Through the Waters,” a setting by Paul Weber of Isaiah 43:1-3.
Music Feeds Us, led by Artistic Director and violist, Fitz Gary, is a concert series originating in Charlottesville, Virginia designed to promote hunger relief. Their concerts, where audience members are encouraged to make free-will monetary or non-perishable food donations to our partner food banks, have raised over 140,000 meals for the hungry in Virginia. In addition to chamber music benefit concerts, Music Feeds Us has also collaborated with arts organizations, libraries, and schools to promote both classical music and hunger awareness.
The Mission of Music Feeds Us is to unite our community through the power of classical music that champions the eradication of hunger. Motivated by a true collaboration between the performers and audience members, Music Feeds Us hopes to inspire the generosity and good-will of the community to help our neighbors in need.
Through children’s concerts, the quartet is not only educating the next generation on the joys of chamber music and the wonderful repertoire it brings, but also instilling in them the responsibility to fight for the often forgotten humanitarian issues, specifically hunger, which is still a major problem in the United States.The goal is to inspire audiences, through music, to give to their local food bank. By guiding the generation of tomorrow on these issues, we can hopefully make a lasting difference in our community.
2018 marks the seventh season of Music Feeds Us. Their first concert this year will take place on May 13th, at 7 PM at Westminster Presbyterian Church with a program of string quartets by Haydn, Caroline Shaw, and Tchaikovsky. Returning guest artists joining Mr. Gary on stage are Jinjoo Cho, winner of the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis; Eric Wong, violist of the Cavani String Quartet in residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music; and NYC based cellist Madeline Fayette, a multifaceted performer, with equal fortitude both on the concert stage and as musical pedagogue and ambassador. Our goal for 2018 is to exceed a cumulative 200,000 meals.
This week the adult choir sings two anthems. The first, Cantate Domino, by the Italian baroque composer Giuseppe Pitoni, is a setting of the first verses of Psalm 98. The second is a choral arrangement of the song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love,” which was originally written by Fr. Peter Scholtes in the 1960s. The choir will sing an arrangement by our own Daniel Grotz, who has sung with the choir throughout his time as a student at UVA. Now in his fourth year, Daniel will graduate in two weeks with a bachelor’s degree, having majored in both music and English.
Congratulations to the children and youth of Westminster! During the season of Lent they collected $145.00 for the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. They took home their fish shaped banks and filled them with coins to help those in need around the world. Special thanks to Dan Nissen for collecting the boxes on Palm Sunday and to Rich Gregory for the use of his fishing net.