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Lincoln Festival Chorus members
Lincoln Festival Chorus members

What Wondrous Love is This?

"Wondrous Love" is often referred to as a "white spiritual" from the Southern Harmony hymnal. Its text was first published in 1811, and its melody derived from a popular English ballad. Today it is a widley known hymn included in hymnals of many Christian denominations. The hymn's lyrics were first published in Lynchburg, VA in the 1811 songbook A General Selection of the Newest and Most Admired Hymns and Spiritual Songs Now in Use. The lyrics may also have been printed in a slightly different form in the 1811 book Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Original and Selected published in Lexington, KY. In most early printings the text was attributed to an anonymous author, though the 1848 hymnal The Hesperian Harp attributes the text to a Methodist pastor from Oxford, GA named Alexander Means.). 

 

Myron J. Roberts

Myron Roberts was born in San Diego, CA. He attended College of the Pacific where he was an organ student of Allen Bacon, graduating in 1935. He then attended the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in NYC where he was a student of Clarence Dickinson. In 1940 he joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he taught organ and contemporary music for 34 years and served as organist at First-Plymouth Congregational Church from 1940-1956. He was also organist at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Risen Christ.

Mr. Roberts's published compositions for organ include Homage to Perotin (1956), Prelude and Trumpetings (1961), Pastoral and Aviary (1969), Nova (1973), Fanfare and Tuckets (1991), and Five For Organ and Marimba (1975). His published choral works include The Storm on Lake Galilee (1946), O Lord We Beseech Thee (1965), Jubilate Deo (1976), Magnificat (1977), and Alleluia (1977).

 

In 1992 Mr, Roberts moved from his home in Capitola, CA to Cushing, ME and built a house on the property of Anthony Antolini, his unofficially adopted son and last organ student.

Mr. Roberts died in Camden, ME at the age of 92. Since his death, Antolini has edited and published some of his previously unpublished works such as the Church Sonata for Piano and Organ which was performed on this concert series in 2015.

 

Magnificat (Also titled My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord) was published in 1972 and has since gone out of print. The original publication followed Mr. Roberts's frequent practice of omitting time signatures in the intention of making the music flow more freely. It has been Antolini's contention that the inclusion of time signatures makes the music easier to read. In the new edition Antolini is preparing  time signatures have been added.

 

Roberts wrote his Nunc dimittis in December, 1988. It is dedicated to Anthony Antolini and Pamela Decker who were at the time choir director and organist at St. Bede's Episcopal Church in Menlo Park, CA. Antolini is now preparing the work for publication, adding time signatures to this piece as in his new edition of the Magnificat.

 

O Lord, We Beseech Thee, published in 1965, is dedicated to the Rev. William A. Cross, Rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Lincoln, NE. The choice of text is highly symbolic. It is the prayer appointed for the Sunday on which the Church of the Holy Trinity burned down.  Mr. Roberts wrote the piece as a memorial to the old building, which was replaced by a new church several years later.

 

Woods in Winter

In the summer of 2016 Anthony Antolini celebrated twenty-five years as Artistic Director of Down East Singers. Sean Fleming composed this setting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem of the same name as a gift to Dr. Antolini on that occasion. Our performance in this concert is the premier of this work.

 

Houston Bright

(Robert) Houston Bright is known primarily for his choral works. The best known of these is the original spiritual "IHear a Voice A-Prayin'", but he wrote dozens of highly regarded pieces over the course of his career, including a number of instrumental compositions. Among his peers Bright was well-known and respected as a composer, choral director and professor. He spent his entire acadmic career in the music department of West Texas State College (now Texas A&M University).

 

Harry T. Burleigh

Henry Thacker "Harry" Burleigh was an African-American composer, arranger and professional singer. He was the first black composer to be instrumental in the development of a characteristically American music and he helped to make black music available to classically trained artists both by introducing them to the music and by arranging the music in a more classical form. He was born in Erie, PA  and died in NYC. While Burleigh was a student at the National Conservatory of Music in NY he held various jobs as janitor and handyman. He sang Negro spirituals while he worked and soon attracted the attention of the president of the conservatory, Antonin Dvorak. He soon became a source of inspiration to Dvorak who used to write down melodies as Burleigh sang for him. Burleigh is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church on September 11.

 

William Dawson

Dawson was bron in Anniston, AL. A graduate of the Horner Institute of Fine Art with a BA in Music, he later studied at the Chicago Musical College and then at the American Conservatory of Music where he received a master's degree. His teaching career began in Kansas City public schools, which was later followed by tenure at the Tuskegee Institute from 1931 - 1956. During this period  it was he who appointed a large number of faculty members who later became well-known for their work in the field.  Dawson also developed the Tuskegee Institute Choir into an internationally renowned ensemble.

 

Dawson began to compose at a young age, and it was early on in his musical career that his Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano was performed by the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Besides chamber music, he is also known for his contributions to both orchestral and choral literature. His best known works are arrangements and variations on spirituals: his Negro Folk Symphony of 1934 garnered a great deal of attention at its world premier, conducted by Leopold Stokowski with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The symphony was revised in 1952 with more African rhythms inspired by the composer's trip to West Africa. Dawson said that the composition was an attempt to convey the missing elements lost when Africans were enslaved outside their homeland. He died, age 90, in Montgomery, AL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Wondrous Love is This?

"Wondrous Love" is often referred to as a "white spiritual" from the Southern Harmony hymnal. Its text was first published in 1811, and its melody derived from a popular English ballad. Today it is a widley known hymn included in hymnals of many Christian denominations. The hymn's lyrics were first published in Lynchburg, VA in the 1811 songbook A General Selection of the Newest and Most Admired Hymns and Spiritual Songs Now in Use. The lyrics may also have been printed in a slightly different form in the 1811 book Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Original and Selected published in Lexington, KY. In most early printings the text was attributed to an anonymous author, though the 1848 hymnal The Hesperian Harp attributes the text to a Methodist pastor from Oxford, GA named Alexander Means.). 

 

Myron J. Roberts

Myron Roberts was born in San Diego, CA. He attended College of the Pacific where he was an organ student of Allen Bacon, graduating in 1935. He then attended the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in NYC where he was a student of Clarence Dickinson. In 1940 he joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln shere he taught organ and contemporary music for 34 years and served as organist at First-pLymouth Congregational Church from 1940-1956. He was also organist at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Risen Christ.

Mr. Roberts's published compositions for organ include Homage to Perotin (1956), Prelude and Trumpetings (1961), Pastoral and Aviary (1969), Nova (1973), Fanfare and Tuckets (1991), and Five For Organ and Marimba (1975). His published choral works include The Storm on Lake Galilee (1946), O Lord We Beseech Thee (1965), Jubilate Deo (1976), Magnificat (1977), and Alleluia (1977).

 

In 1992 Mr, Roberts moved from his home in Capitola, CA to Cushing, ME and built a house on the property of Anthony Antolini, his unofficially adopted son and last organ student.

Mr. Roberts died in Camden, ME at the age of 92. Since his death, Antolini has edited and published some of his previously unpublished works such as the Church Sonata for Piano and Organ which had been performed on this concert series.

 

Magnificat (Also titled My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord) was published in 1972 and has since gone out of print. The original publication followed Mr. Roberts's frequent practice of omitting time signatures in the intention of making the music flow more freely. It has been Antolini's contention that the inclusion of time signatures makes the music easier to read. In a new edition that Antolini is preparing the time signatures have been added.

 

Roberts wrote his Nunc dimittis in December, 1988. It is dedicated to Anthony Antolini and Pamela Decker who were at the time choir director and organist at St. Bede's Episcopal Church in Menlo Park, CA. Antolini is now preparing the work for publication, adding time signatures to this piece as in his new edition of the Magnificat.

 

O Lord, We Beseech Thee, published in 1965, is dedicated to the Rev. William A. Cross, Rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Lincoln, NE. The choice of text is highly symbolic. It is the prayer appointed for the Sunday on which the Church of the Holy Trinity burned down.  Mr. Roberts wrote the piece as a memorial to the old building, which was replace by a new church several years later.

 

Woods in Winter

In the summer of 2016 Anthony Antolini celebrated twenty-five years as Artistic Director of Down East Singer. Sean Fleming composed this setting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem of the same name as a gift to Dr. Antolini on that occasion. Our performance in this concert is the premier of this work.

 

Houston Bright

(Robert) Houston Bright is known primarily for his choral works. The best known of these is the original spiritual "IHear a Voice A-Prayin'", but he wrote dozens of highly regarded pieces over the course of his career, including a number of instrumental compositions. Among his peers Bright was well-known and respected as a composer, choral director and professor. He spent his entire acadmic career in the music department of West Texas State College (now Texas A&M University.

 

Harry T. Burleigh

Henry Thacker "Harry" Burleigh was an African-American composer, arranger and professional singer. He was the first black composer to be instrumental in the development of a characteristically American music and he helped to make black music available to classically trained artists both by introducing them to the music and by arranging the music in a more classical form. He was born in Erie, PA  and died in NYC. While Burleigh was a student at the National Conservatory of Music in NY he held various jobs as janitor and handyman. He sang Negro spirituals while he worked and soon attracted the attention of the president of the conservatory, Antonin Dvorak. He soon became a source of inspiration to Dvorak who used to write down melodies as Burleigh sang for him. Burleigh is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church on September 11.

 

William Dawson

Dawson was bron in Anniston, AL. A graduate of the Horner Institute of Fine Art with a BA in Music, he later studied at the Chicago Musical College and then at the American Conservatory of Music where he received a master's degree. His teaching career began in Kansas City public schools, which was later followed by tenure at the Tuskegee Institute from 1931 - 1956. During this period  it was he who appointed a large number of faculty members that later became well-known for their work in the field. Additionally, Dawson developed the Tuskegee Institute Choir into an internationally renowned ensemble.

 

As a composer Dawson began at a young age, and it was early on in his compositional career that his Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano was performed by the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Besides chamber music, he is also known for his contributions to both orchestral and choral literature. His best known works are arrangements and variations on spirituals: his Negro Folk Symphony of 1934 garnered a great deal of attention at its world premier, conducted by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The symphony was revised in 1952 with greater African rhythms inspired by the composer's trip to West Africa. Dawson said that the composition was an attempt to convey the missing elements lost when Africans fell into bondage outside their homeland. He died, age 90, in Montgomery, AL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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