A big"thank you" to the Bison Glee Club, the Bisonette Glee Club, and the University Chorale for letting us introduce this unique event we have planned for April 30, 2013. The Visions of Liberty concert, featuring the Randall Thompson Testament of Freedom, the Georg Frideric Handel Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened (Coronation Anthem), and the premiere of my newest work The Glow From That Fire is going to be a challenging but rewarding performance which connects these three works with the ideas of liberty, freedom, and the hopeful optimism that came from important political and social leaders of past generations.
The Thompson work uses selected texts from the writings of the 3rd American president, Thomas Jefferson, including those in letters written to John Adams, the 2nd American president and a harsh political rival of Jefferson's. In later years, they put aside their differences and became close allies and friends, and in the end, both died on the same day - July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. His words are full of hope for America, for the liberty fought for and won, and for the generations of Americans who would benefit from the birth-pains of a new country.
Handel wrote four anthems to commemorate the crowning of King George II in 1727. Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened is the second in this series, although there is some confusion over the order of performance of the four anthems. With texts from the Psalms and a wonderful, rousing "Alleluia" as a closing movement, Handel celebrates both the succession of power in his adopted country and the knowledge that God should be praised and honored by its leaders.
The Glow From That Fire is meant to both celebrate the hopeful optimism of President John F. Kennedy, by using much of his 1961 Inaugural Address as primary text as well as memorializing the man -- 50 years after his untimely and very public death. The five-movement work utilizes both the Kennedy speech with passages from the traditional Requiem Mass, and joins forces with an alto soloist, a narrator, choir, and orchestra to portray the dreams and visions of this youthful American president.
The Visions of Liberty concert takes place on the OBU campus, Potter Auditorium in Raley Chapel on April 30, 2013, 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.