I was blown away at Transient Glory. The sound of the choir was outstanding and so beautiful. I was overwhelmed by how far the choir has come.
When John Schaefer talked about how YPC had been commissioning these pieces for the past ten years, it was such a powerful moment of reflection for me. The Transient Glory pieces played a tremendous role in my life. They were powerful and I always felt that they were so important. That our singing was changing the world and that we were conveying the tone of society.
However, when we sang Metamorphoses, Unlabelled and Kadiq…The challenge of those pieces and the musical and literal meaning of those pieces not only defined what type of music I wanted to work with in my life, but gave a spirituality and musical connection to many of today’s most pressing problems and trends.
On Friday night, to hear Song of Ezekiel again and the David Del Tredici was like revisiting an old friend. I was so happy to see another generation of choristers experiencing the magic of those songs. YPC sang them with such artistry. I remember struggling over Song of Ezekiel and all those “do-do-do” parts. I even remember you stating “This is so hard, how am I going to teach this to you?” And I was scared for you and the choir. What would happen if we couldn’t sing the piece?
That’s when you said the most incredible thing. On Friday night, you told John Schaefer that “the fear was gone.” And that’s what it sounded like on stage. There was only joy.
Now that I’m thinking about it… it’s not always that the pieces themselves were so great, (though many of them were) it’s really the passion you bring to each piece. Your drive and your ability to convey the beauty of the music becomes embedded within each singer. Instead of it simply being a song that would be nice to learn. It’s “we have to learn this song, it’s so important, no one else in the world can sing these pieces, these songs are going to change everything, I identify so much with the melody/text of this piece.”
Every day in high school I thought about our Transient Glory songs; about the process, sacrifice and importance. I still think about it as I conduct my own choirs and express my own passion about the music. I’m not sure if Transient Glory is really the thing that will ever change the world for the better, but it certainly was the greatest gift ever given to me and I hold it very close to my heart.