St. Paul, Minn. — This year's performance features charming folk songs, tender hymns and five world premieres that honor the intricate patchwork of our nation's community of cultures. Complementing the program is Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Crann, who has been invited to narrate several seasonal readings interspersed throughout the performance.
A mix of past and present, this concert delivers traditional hymn favorites including "We Gather Together" and "Amazing Grace" and new works by Minnesota's own Carol Barnett and New York composer, Martha Sullivan (winner of the 2003 Choral Ventures™ program). The Singers share William Hawley's moving rendition of the Shaker hymn "Not One Sparrow is Forgotten" and Dale Warland's classic arrangement of "Simple Gifts."
"The pioneering spirit and deep feeling of gratitude of that first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621 is very present in the music of this concert. The choral settings that we have programmed all have great down-to-earth appeal and, as is traditional of our programs, we have included four new compositions. The 'new' is represented by commissions from two of our country's most talented young women: Carol Barnett (Minnesota) and Martha Sullivan (New York). Those commissions, along with world premieres by Stephen Paulus, were especially composed for this performance," said Dale Warland.
arr. Dale Warland: "Simple Gifts"
Kevin Siegfried: "Shaker Songs: Peace; Lay Me Low"
arr. William Hawley: "Not one Sparrow is Forgotten"
"Meridel Le Sueur" from Communal Global Day, read by MPR's Tom Crann
"We Gather Together"
Stephen Paulus: "The Old Church" (from Prairie Songs)
William Applings/ arr. Joseph Jennings: "We Shall Walk through the Valley"
Carol Barnett: "An American Thanksgiving"
arr. Matthew Culloton: "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need"
John Keats: "To Autumn", read by MPR's Tom Crann
Stephen Paulus: "The Road Home"
arr. Carol Barnett: "By and By"
Stephen Paulus: "Pilgrims' Hymn"