To Walk Humbly

SATB Chorus, theremin, and piano (2014)

Premiere performance: March 25, 2015, Camden Opera House, Camden, Maine
Down East Singers, Anthony Antolini, conductor; Elizabeth Brown, theremin; Jennifer McIvor, piano

duration: 9:00

program note

At Down East Singers’ Memorial Day concert in 2013, I heard Col. Robert Rheault quietly and powerfully make his case for being a pacifist. The feeling from this moving concert was strong in my memory when Anthony Antolini asked me to write a memorial piece for Col. Rheault, who had died recently. His widow, Susan St. John, chose Micah 6:8: for the text:

“What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with thy God.”

The unearthly voice of the theremin sometimes joins the chorus, and sometimes rises above it. Fragments of the hymn ‘Onward, Christian Soldiers’ and of ‘America the Beautiful’ emerge and recede.