For Chorus and Orchestra (SATB and Piano version available)
Duration: 5’ 10”
Year of Composition: 2018
The work received its premiere performances on December 7 and 8, 2018 at Clowes Memorial Hall, Indianapolis, IN by the Butler University Symphony Orchestra, Butler Chorale, and Butler University Choir, John Perkins, Conductor.
Rejoice was written in two parts, the tune in 2015 and the lyrics in 2018. The main tune was written in a couple of days while I was out staying with a friend over Thanksgiving Break. The first setting of the tune was entered into a competition, and after I lost the competition I decided to reset the tune to another setting and have plans to later publish it. Following a composition contest, which I lost, I pulled the original poem from the work. For nearly three years, my tune was stored away without words. In the summer of 2018, I approached the tune again, this time, as part of a new setting which you will hear today. I also wrote my own set of lyrics, this time, having worked better than I had expected. Based on the extent amount of work I did, and the fact that this is not an arrangement but a setting of a tune I reworked this summer, I have given 2018 as the year of composition and would ask that when printed on programs, 2018 and not 2015/2018 be written.
While some might wonder about my choice for the text, I must say, the text came to me as the tune did. In both occasions, I sat lonely, thinking about people. They came to me upon deep reflection , in particular, my belief that God loves everyone. I have seen discrimination; I have seen hate; I have seen people feel hopeless, in need, and wanting a second chance. Princes, servants, slaves, middle-class people, or as I refer to people, our fellow angels, God loves everyone. When I see people, I see them more than just people. I see people as angels. I have a strong belief than no matter who people are or what their conscious tells them otherwise, that they still have some good in them. The atmosphere in this setting of my song is charming, heartwarming, emotional, big and bold. When listening to Rejoice, I ask that people reflect on my words. I certainly believe there is a lot of joy in singing and would ask everyone who is singing, to sing with emotion, no matter who you are, where you come from, and who you want to be. I hope my song provides some comfort to people and I hope the message behind it resonates to people, far and wide.
Butler University Symphony Orchestra, Butler Chorale, and Butler University Choir, John Perkins, Conductor.
December 8, 2018