Mixed Choir with Divisi
Linfield College Concert Choir
Lacroute Arts Series at Linfield College for the Linfield College Concert Choir. Dr. Anna Song, Director
From measure 44 (2:25), the performers are encouraged to call out social justice issues that weigh heavily on their hearts. For the premiere performance, choir members submitted options and then voted on which issues to highlight.
When Justice Reigns for Mixed Choir with Divisi (2016) was commissioned by the Lacroute Arts Series at Linfield College for the Linfield College Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Anna Song, who premiered the work on Sunday, October 23, 2016 in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium (McMinnville, Oregon).
Linfield College alumna Janine Applegate wrote her poem, When Justice Reigns, for this project on the theme of social justice. In it, she highlights our commonality and interconnectedness with others, while also mourning how hatred unravels the cloth of our society. To support these ideas musically, the song begins with a simple, unified texture, reminiscent of older hymns and protest songs. The stark middle section is built upon chanted pitches in the tenor and bass voices, while the unsettling upper voices mourn the lack of peace. During this section, the performers may highlight social justice issues that are especially important to them.
I am grateful for additional artistic support from: Faun Tiedge, the student performers in the Linfield College Concert Choir, Brian and Kaisa Amer. – Notes by Andrea Reinkemeyer
When Justice Reigns for Mixed Choir with Divisi (2016) was commissioned by the Lacroute Arts Series at Linfield University for the Linfield Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Anna Song. Janine Applegate’s poem highlights points of commonality and interconnectedness between people and mourns the damage caused by hatred and bigotry within our society. The stark middle section builds upon chanted pitches in the tenor and bass voices, while the unsettling upper voices mourn the lack of peace. During this section, the performers call out social justice issues, chosen by them, to invoke contemplation that spurs action and change.
When Justice Reigns
One common life all creatures share; one origin, one common birth,
One sky, one source of light, one air: one journey on one kindred earth.
One passage to this world we take and through one portal will depart.
In every dream, and when we wake, we share the beating of one heart.
We will not taste true wealth until the least is clothed and warm and fed,
Or rest in peace, secure and still, while others do not have a bed.
Where hatred dwells, there is no peace; the wounds are borne by everyone,
For we are woven of one piece: of many threads the cloth is spun.
When justice reigns, its battle won, and warfare ends, and hearts are free,
Then every voice shall sing as one, in hope and love and harmony.
– Janine Applegate
Copyright © 2016 Janine Applegate.
Used by permission of Janine Applegate.