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MP3 Jubilate! - I Want To Be Ready

Classic a cappella choral music presented through a compelling reflection of human emotion before a live audience at Carnegie Hall.

32 MP3 Songs in this album (109:37) !
Related styles: CLASSICAL: Vocal Music, SPIRITUAL: Spirituals

People who are interested in Robert Shaw Chorale Moses Hogan Chorale Dale Warland Singers should consider this download.

Recorded on June 3rd, 2008 in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, New York City
William G. “Kip” Kuepper of Coupe Studios, Producer; Leszek Wojick, Engineer

I. “Over My Head, I Hear Music”
An entrancing, three-note melody floats
on an updraft of conviction as the
American Spiritual composer speaks
from the roots of the nation’s identity:
“Over my head I hear music, there must
be a God somewhere.” Through music
and poetry, the simplest of statements
teases out profundity within experience
with an ease unthinkable in prose.
Composers have long understood
music’s power to convey and, indeed,
define human experience. They often
look to the chorus to do so, perhaps
because the very effectiveness of the
choir subsists in emotional vulnerability
and mutual trust. This program, I Want
To Be Ready, juxtaposes the work of 23
different composers and spans more
than four centuries. Each of the seven
sets reaches into one of life’s mysteries
and explores it from multiple perspectives.
As the opening song develops, each
voice expresses personal insight through
a 26-part canon. The voices congregate
to end the piece, and so embody the
message of the concert: people of diverse
backgrounds and abilities can share
their personal approach to life and
spirituality through song, and in doing
so, they are made stronger.
Life’s wonders grow through relationships,
and our individual worlds
depend upon interaction with varied
influences, including characters in our
art. These characters can bring us into
safe relationships with our hopes and
fears, create confidants and sages. In I
Want To Be Ready, John—a symbol of
cheerful-hearted spirituality, strength,
and justice in the African-American
communities of the 19th century—
excites great anticipation for a new
Jerusalem. Likewise, the mysterious
speaker of Alleluia, I Heard a Voice
shares excitement about something
larger than the individual: “Salvation,
Glory, and Honor.”
In the piece Alleluia, I Heard a Voice,
the word “Alleluia” echoes again and
again, bouncing against the regulated
pulse of Renaissance polyphony, and
“Alleluia” in the Russian communion
anthem Duh Tvoy Blagíy answers with
sober reflection. This simple word occupies
a wide berth in music history, and
has come to define many reflections on
life. It enriches at least one song in every
set in the program.
II. “Sorrow Is Ours to Hold”
Sorrow lives within the arms of joy. As
Naomi Shihab Nye explains in a poem
that introduces this set, “What you carefully
saved, all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be.” So
intrinsic is sorrow’s connection to life
that the destruction of the freedoms of
two peoples separated by nearly 2,000
years speaks as if they occupied the same
moment in time. The Psalmist’s cry for
relief from exile and slavery—“By the
waters of Babylon we sat down and
wept, how can we sing a song in a
strange land”—so captured the early
American spirit torn by war and political
upheaval that William Billings grafted
the words to his music in Lamentation
Over Boston. Likewise the longing
found in Palestrina’s motet style from
Renaissance Italy (Sicut Cervus), echoes
through the 20th-century American
classical music of Deep River to transform
the personal and social despair of
American slavery. In each of the pieces
we follow the tightly woven reality of
experience and emotion. Pain is allowed
to weigh down the music to uplift the
soul: we must hold sorrow close to us to
know hope’s great promise.
III. “Hope Perches in the Soul”
Emily Dickinson tantalizes with the irresistible
metaphor “Hope is the thing
with feathers that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune—without the words,
and never stops at all.” The words of
Jacob’s Ladder, The Lord’s Prayer, God
Bless the Child, and Song of Triumph all
speak profoundly of hope—and perhaps
in their cases as well as Dickinson’s, the
tune without the words brings us closer,
in some sense, to truth. Listen closely to
Boyer’s gospel triple-time escalation in
Jacob’s Ladder, where the satisfying
words “Rise, shine, give God the glory,”
are swept into emotional rapture
through music. The familiar Lord’s
Prayer takes on startling poignancy
through upward-moving sequences in
the repetition of the words “Forgive us
our transgressions,” as Garuta defies
fearful self-centeredness in the face of
the two opposing armies who seemed
sure to destroy her city, her friends, and
possibly herself, in 1942 Riga, Latvia.
And “Alleluia” speaks as the voice of
pain, laid raw and accepted reluctantly
as a friend, in Song of Triumph,
Grothenuis’ expression of faith in life
and the spirit in a song that brought the
composer out of deep struggle after
great loss.
IV. “Happiness Floats”
Life’s joys often appear in strange places.
They welcome us into praise for one
another (Uyai Mose), the spirit (Ubi
Caritas), for nature (i thank You God),
special occasions (O Magnum Mysterium),
and the everyday (Salmo 150).
Happiness erupts from us, and if we try
to contain it, moves on. We cannot
speak to one another of happiness, we
must speak from happiness, be with it
and share it with abandon. Joy flows in
many streams, all of them transporting.
We extend to you the invitation to join
in celebration with Uyai Mose and the
call to “Come all ye people, to worship,
to praise, to sing your songs together…”
that will end the first half of the program.
V. “Salvation Is Created in the Midst of
the Earth”
Life is filled with wonder, sorrow, hope,
and joy. These emotions stir speech and
instigate stories that reflect understanding
of life, love, humanity, and God. In the
Christian faith, the story of Jesus’ life on
earth captures the imagination of the
greatest and least-practiced story tellers.
The main points are familiar but no less
profound: from the beginning, expressed
in Ave Maria—“et verbum caro factum
est, et habitavit in nobis” (“and the
word became flesh, and dwelt among
us”)—with its recognition of the woman
who carried divine life (“Hail Mary full
of grace, blessed are you among
women”)—to the climactic “Jesu vamuvamba”
(“Jesus, they crucified him”). As
John Donne declares in the poetry of At
the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners,
choices dwell in these stories: to Donne,
the choice of repentance in contrast to
the darkness of personal iniquity. And
the story turns to myth in the powerful
Russian communion reflection, Spaséñiye
Soldélal “Salvation is created in the
midst of the earth.” Here relationship
gives meaning to communication and
physical manifestation stirs awakening
through the every day.
VI. “A Miracle of Birth and Glory,
Death and Resurrection”
From life (“Let’s go down in the river to
pray”) to death (“When my work on
earth is done, done with sin and sorrow”),
and beyond (“May flights of
angels sing thee to thy rest”), the buzz of
the living soul hums through a musical
drone and crowds imagination with
overwhelming presence. Indeed, life
itself sings the soul into the beyond
(“weeping at the grave creates a song,
Alleluia!”). The music communicates
two portraits of humanity’s real need for
the afterlife: the humble, Hear My
Prayer (“Just to know I’m bound for
glory and to hear you say ‘Well done’”)
and the glorious (“Come, enjoy rewards
and crowns”) in Song for Athene.
VII. “In My Soul There Is a Temple”
From emotion to storied communication,
composers have translated experience
to define their own purpose. When
purpose defines life, the very moments of
toil ring with delight. Without it, emotion
refuses to speak and stories lose
their meaning. Spiritual composers
understood this and even under the
cloak of slavery sought examples to
muster purpose. “Did you ever see such
a sight before? Jesus preaching to the
poor” appears in many spirituals. Unfettered
by a need to connect plot points,
the words in Daniel Saw the Stone go
straight to the heart of being—to find
place. Daniel interprets dreams, Jesus
helps the lowly and sets the captive free.
Even in places where purpose seems
hopeless, in the midst of war (Alleluia,
written in 1941) or following the tragic
loss of loved ones (Precious Lord), our
great works of art invite us to a table of
strength that rests, untethered from life’s
core, on the God who sings from somewhere
over our heads.
—David Harris

Jubilate! Sacred Singers

The curtain opens on a beautiful spring
evening in 2002, in Boulder, Colorado,
where a few singers sit in the small
restaurant of an historic landmark hotel.
We had just finished a rehearsal for an
upcoming concert at a local church. The
tenure of the interim director was coming
to an end, but we recognized the
strong desire to continue singing
together with him and to bring quality
choral music to a wider community.
Could we pull off a volunteer community
choir devoted to sacred music?
Where would we sing? Who would want
to hear us? What would we call ourselves?
A few phone calls, a lot of
prayers, and several meetings later—and
Jubilate! Sacred Singers was born.
Someone volunteered to call potential
members, another explored a place
to rehearse, another created a list of possible
venues, another put her creative
skills toward selecting outfits, a resident
lawyer formed the non-profit organization,
members agreed to pledge to pay
the director’s salary, all agreed that we
would sing for whomever wanted to
hear us, at no charge—God had blessed
us with the gift of song and we would
give that gift to the Boulder community
and beyond. Our mission was to “Share
God’s word and glorify God through
music”; our vision, to “Sing for Joy!”
Thirty volunteer singers attended the
first rehearsal. All rehearsals and performances
would be a cappella; singers
would stand generally in quartets—there
would be no separation by sections; outside
rehearsal preparation was a must as
there was to be no rehearsal accompanist.
The excitement hummed, sometimes
because of what we had accomplished,
other times because of the challenges
ahead, but certainly because God
had led us with encouragement and
blessed our ministry.
Since the first rehearsal on August 1,
2002, and the first “concert” at the
Boulder Homeless Shelter a few weeks
later, Jubilate has performed approximately
325 times; toured the Northwest,
Southeast, and Northeast; sung in such
historic places as The Old North
Church, Ebenezer Baptist Church,
Peachtree Presbyterian Church, the
Boothbay Harbor Opera House, Macky
Auditorium, the historic Stanley Hotel,
and the Boulder Chautauqua Auditorium;
recorded three albums; presented
benefit concerts for such entities as the
Boulder Chautauqua Association,
Dushanbe Sister Cities, Make A Difference,
Educate!, and Mozart’s Rolling
Requiem in remembrance of those who
died on 9/11/01; and provided quality a
cappella choral music to audiences from
10 to 40,000.
Jubilate has sung in churches large
and small, retirement and nursing
homes, baseball stadiums, Independence
Day celebrations, weddings, Easter services,
Christmas programs, and for
dying patients in hospice care. We have
led sing-alongs, brought communities
together through large-scale choral festivals,
and joined with other ensembles to
celebrate the lives of members past.
Every singing experience is unique, and
some create an impact that touches the
heart in a special way. During our performance
of Shenandoah for a packed
house at a benefit concert at Boulder’s
renowned Chautauqua Auditorium,
nature joined the choir as the heavens
opened and spilled a tumult of rain that
was later joined by a symphonic outburst
of thunder just in time for the climax
of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
A few months later, during a concert for
a handful of retirees at an assisted-living
facility, a woman with Alzheimer’s was
moved to position her walker so as to
join the choir and sing along in the front
row, with an awareness that she had not
portrayed in months.
Artistic Director David Harris is the
inspiration and impetus for Jubilate. His
charismatic and deeply emotional style
of directing inspires the choir and listener
to a deeper appreciation of the
music. His composition and editing
prowess reveals a vast understanding
and deep appreciation for all choral works.
The hallmark of Jubilate is its diverse
repertoire, currently consisting of more
than 200 pieces, ranging from Renaissance
polyphony to American popular
music. Not only are singers expected to
grapple with vastly different musical
styles and rhythmic variations, but
through exploration of the text and history
of the music, they also convey to listeners
a sense of the import of the piece.
Without the assistance of accompaniment,
singers in an a cappella environment
must use voice and visual presentation
as the sole means for expression.
There is a connection between singer
and listener that is unique to the a cappella
Ten months after the first rehearsal,
Jubilate spent a marathon ten-hour session
recording its first CD. Sing With
Joy! is a compilation of the first 15
pieces the choir learned. Two years later,
Jubilate recorded We As Advent People
in Boulder’s Immersive Studios, bringing
the challenge of a close and highly sensitive
and accurate room to bear on the
presentation of a wide range of music
celebrating the birth of Christ. In 2007
the choir, stirred by its five-year-old fascination
with American spirituals, produced
its first live recording, Let It
Shine. All three CDs evidence divine
intervention and represent the combined
effort of thousands of hours, anxiety,
passion and love for music and for
one another.
Every week of singing together
prompts the members of Jubilate to
count the blessings of their voices, their
Maker, and their time in fellowship with
one another. Whether in a 60-seat
church or a major concert hall, Jubilate
tries to bring the hope of life with music
from deep within their souls to join with
others in the experience of song.
Thanks to the generosity of an
anonymous donor, in recognition and
celebration of the six-year-old mission of
Jubilate, the concert in Carnegie
Hall became a reality. Fifty-two members of
the choir presented I Want To Be
Ready as a gift to the New York
community, a tribute to family and
friends and supporters of the choir, and
a celebration of the spirit of love and
commitment that “singing for joy” has
provided. Jubilate is greatly privileged to have
shared this celebration with New York
City’s Coalition Against Hunger, whose
daily work on behalf of individuals
searching for the promise of a better life
inspires the work we do to motivate others
to share their resources with those
who strive for betterment.
—Margaret Brubaker

David Harris, B.S.E., M.M., D.M.A.,
has worked with choral and instrumental
groups for more than 15 years, and
with ensembles of all ages and ability
levels including religious, community,
collegiate, high school, youth, and professional
vocal and instrumental ensembles.
He is artistic director, a founding
member and composer for Jubilate. The
talent, commitment, and familial devotion
of the singers in Jubilate has been a
major source of inspiration and drive
during his six years as director.
David is also an active composer and
arranger. He writes primarily for choral
ensembles, both a cappella and those using accompaniment of brass ensemble,
string ensemble, piano, organ, and
percussion. Over the past six years as
composer and arranger for Jubilate,
David has performed and recorded a
number of pieces. In addition to performing every
week with Jubilate, David often serves
as a clinician and fulfills composition
commissions throughout the year. He
co-authored the book In The Good Old
Summer Time with Thomas Riis in
2006. David holds degrees from the Universities
of Alabama, Oklahoma, and
Colorado. He received the Marinus
Smith Recognition Award for Teaching
Excellence in 2003 from the University
of Colorado Parents Association for his
work with the CU Collegiate Chorale.

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