ITHACA COLLEGE CAMPUS CHORUS
Dr. Morgan Jolley, conductor
Ryan Fellman, conductor
Julianna LoBiondo, conductor
Daniel Herbener, collaborative pianist
17th century Quechua
Translation by Mo Fini
For the happiness of the upper world
I'll kiss you a thousand times.
The hope of the human race is an old tree
that produces fruit in abundance;
sustenance that gives strength
What I ask for: listen to my suffering,
Mother and guide of God,
flower and white light.
Remember I keep watch over you,
waiting for you to reveal your son.
Ave, verum corpus,
Natum de Maria virgine,
Vere passum immolatum
In Cruce pro homine,
Cujus latus perforatum
Unda fluxit et sanguine,
Esto nobis praegustatum
In moris examine.
Hail, true Body,
born of the Virgin Mary,
who having truly suffered,
was sacrificed on the cross for humankind,
whose pierced side
flowed with water and blood:
May it be for us a foretaste
in the trial of death.
M’Lilo, Vutha mathanjeni!
In the fire burned the rings!
Chispa candela juego a que me quemo,
chispa candela que me estoy quemando.
Las mujeres en un baile cuando se apagan las velas,
la que no pellizca muerde y la que menos corre vuela.
Ay! Me quemé. Ay! Abuelita me quemé.
Me dicen que soy el diablo, yo no soy el diablo, no.
Yo me confesé en Remedios y oí misa en Yolombó.
Y este juego se acabó, la chispita se apagó. Ay! Se apagó.
Published in Lima, Peru by Gerónimo de Contreras in 1631, Hanacpachap cussicuinin has the distinction of being the first piece of polyphonic music printed in the Western Hemisphere. Although the composer is unknown, this piece was likely composed as a prayer to be sung in processions as the native parishioners enter the church. The language of this work is Quechua, the imperial language of the Inca. The Inca worshiped and revered the world in which they lived. The Apus (mountains) and Pakarin (lakes), the Taytay Inti (sun) and Pachamama (Mother Earth) were their gods; they were sacred, and to harm them would have been to harm themselves. In Incan cosmology, the universe was made up of three worlds: Hanacpacha (upper world/cosmos), Kaypacha (the earth's surface), and Uccupacha (the earth's interior). On leaving this earth, humans rose into the upper world, then descended into the earth before being delivered back to this world by Pachamama through the power of Apus. Following the Spanish conquest and Christianization of Peru, a strong connection was made between Pachamama and the Virgin Mary. This work has been reworked by Juan Pérez Bocanegra, a parish priest, both textually and harmonically to reflect a fusion of Incan and Spanish values. - Notes written by Christopher Moroney.
America the Beautiful: The famous poem by Katherine Lee Bates set here by composer R. Nathaniel Dett was written in 1893 at the top of Pikes Peak just outside of Colorado Springs Colorado. The poem was published in 1895. R. Nathaniel Dett was a Black nationalistic composer, educator, conductor, pianist, essayist, and poet whose work helped to change the perspective of music of Black composers during the early twentieth century. He published this piece during another global pandemic, the 1918 Influenza Pandemic which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide between 1918-1919 as World War I came to an end. R. Nathaniel Dett was born in 1882 in Drummondville, Ontario which is the exit point for the Underground Railroad. At the age of 11 he moved to New York. He was the first Black composer to receive a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory, and was the founding Director of Music at Hampton College (now University). His wife, soprano Helen Elise Smith was the first Black graduate of Damrosch Institute, which later became Julliard. In 1917, Dett stated, “I am a musician whose ambition in life is the advancement of my people, and who believes absolutely in equality of opportunity for all peoples, regardless of race, creed, or color, or previous conditions of servitude.”
Artur Schnabel characterized Mozart's music as "too simple for children and too difficult for adults." Ave verum corpus (K. 618) is one of W.A. Mozart's most well-known choral works and a prime example of the simplicity and difficulty of his writing. This short motet was written less than six months before Mozart's death and stylistically foreshadows musical elements of his Requiem. The gentle and uncomplicated melody has allowed the work to become a staple in choral literature.
Dreams of Thee is taken from the Romantic poem “Lines to an Indian Air” by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) and set by Eric William Barnum. The lyric poem, which tells the tale of one who wakes, walks through a beautiful Indian night to the window of his beloved, then falls, fainting and overcome with powerful emotions. The sweeping lines of the piano and violin accompaniment lend itself to the overwhelming feelings described in the poetry before the final moments of contentment.
Sitting in Limbo: This collection of tunes was performed by the world-renowned Soweto Gospel Choir in Soweto, South Africa on their album, “African Spirit” in 2007. This multi-Grammy-award winning ensemble traditionally performs a wide variety of music including African and American Southern Gospel, Reggae, Negro Spirituals, and Popular music. This upbeat medley is a perfect example of how these diverse genres can work together in call and response form that is characteristic of traditional singing in South Africa. It begins with Sitting in Limbo, a reggae song written by Jimmy Cliff and Guilly Bright. The singers lament on the feeling of being in “limbo”, or a feeling of being in-between and waiting for a breakthrough. This metaphor works perfectly with us as choral musicians as we have worked through the process of ensemble singing in a global pandemic in the 2020-2021 year! We then transition to This Little Light of Mine, a song whose origins are obscure but has deeply rooted history in Black churches in the United States. It is commonly used as a protest song, a practice beginning in the Civil Rights Movement and continuing today. The choir then sings the same song using the Zulu text, “M’Lilo Vuta Mathanjeni” which loosely translates to “this little light of mine”, but the direct translation is, “in the fire burned the rings”. Zulu is a Bantu language, and is one of South Africa’s eleven official languages, spoken by more than 12 million speakers. The piece ends with the Southern Gospel Hymn, If We Ever Needed the Lord Before written by Thomas Dorsey in 1943. South Africans faced segregation by race and culture with the apartheid ideology and legislature by the National Party from 1948 to 1994. Soweto was the location of monumental demonstrations to end apartheid, the most notable being in 1976. It is no surprise that the Soweto Gospel Choir arranged this medley of tunes to bridge the gap of biding one’s time and waiting for a break though to finding the light of freedom.
North was composed by Ryan O’Neal, also known as Sleeping at Last. It premiered on his first of three concept albums, Atlas I. This first album reviews the beginning of the universe with three releases: In the Beginning (Darkness and Light), the Observable Universe (Space I and Space II), and Earth (Land and Oceans). North is the first song of the Land portion and is very special to Ryan. In a podcast about this specific piece, he shares that it was the first song written in the home he and his family moved into when expecting their first child. He wrote it from his daughter’s future bedroom when taking a break from unpacking and reflecting on the life that they would live there. The melodic line captures the juxtaposition of feeling worn-out from change combined with the earnest hopefulness of imagining a new life. Ryan states, “it is a prayer that the future will be as hopeful as we imagine as we uproot and up-plant, and that the roots will take.” In the piece, the text repeats “Give us bread, give us salt, give us wine.” This line is taken from Ryan’s favorite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life when George and Mary Bailey help an immigrant Italian family by granting a loan for them to build their family home, investing in them as valued members of their community. Mary and George give the Martini the gifts of bread “that this house may never know hunger,” salt “that life may always have flavor,” and wine, “that joy and prosperity may reign forever.” As this song is performed images of “home” as perceived by the members of the Campus Chorus ensemble will be shown. These people and places represent their true north and the home of their hearts.
The traditional Colombian folk song, Juego a que me quemo, is playful in nature both in terms of music and meaning. In a not so obvious fashion, it depicts an late night dance and the idea that one can get burned from picking the wrong partner much in the same way one can become burned from the flame of a candle. The idea of "sparks" might seem fun but how long will the flame last? Reading the text and translating it literally will leave you perplexed as the message reads much like a children's fable with a deeper meaning.
Morgan Jolley earned her Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of South Florida in Spring, 2020. She is an Assistant Professor in Music Education at Ithaca College. Dr. Jolley (formerly known as Dr. Burburan) served as the Interim Director of Choral Studies at the University of South Florida. Dr. Jolley has experience in teaching from the elementary to the university level and beyond with community choirs. She is an active choral clinician, adjudicator, and provides professional development to music educators. Morgan has an MME from Florida State University and a B.S. in Music Education from the University of South Florida, and began her education at the University of Florida studying French Horn. Her research interest is in vocal health and pedagogy across genres, music cognition, curriculum development, the democratization of music education with informal and popular music education in addition to traditional western canon, and student leadership.