Resound Ensemble’s fall concert, I Dream a World, will inspire you with songs of comfort, hope, justice, and joy. The first half of the concert features choral works of extraordinary beauty, including Eric Whitacre’s exquisite Lux Aurumque and Edward Elgar’s rapturous Lux Aeterna (a choral setting of Nimrod from his Enigma Variations). These works are balanced with three very different takes on the joyous exclamation “Alleluia” with a setting by contemporary composer Jake Runestad, an excerpt from the Brazilian Psalm by 20th-century composer Jean Berger, and an a cappella version of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
The centerpiece of Resound Ensemble’s I Dream a World concert is the recently commissioned Quilt Songs, a set of choral works by five contemporary women composers: Alice Parker, Libby Larsen, Gabriela Lena Frank, Ysaÿe Barnwell, and Carol Barnett. Inspired by the quilt art of Kay McCarthy, Quilt Songs is a celebration of the interconnectedness of humanity and the artistry of color, pattern, and light. The concert concludes with two additional works by women composers: Ella’s Song, an anthem of justice and hope by Bernice Johnson Reagon (founder of the singing group Sweet Honey and the Rock) and I Dream a World, the namesake piece of our concert by composer Joan Szymko featuring the poetry of Langston Hughes.
I am incredibly excited to be joining Resound Ensemble as their new Artistic Director, and I am honored to follow the outstanding musical leadership of Luçik Aprahämian, Terry Alvord, and Founding Artistic Director Ryan Connolly. We live in a world that is often divided, downcast, and despairing — please join Resound Ensemble in concert this November as we together dream a world of hope and justice, a world where we can all live in freedom and peace! — Dr. Ben Riggs, Resound Ensemble Artistic Director