“There Is Song” Commissioned by Schola Cantorum


Schola Cantorum of Waynesboro, Virginia with conductor Jesse Hopkins.

Schola Cantorum of Waynesboro, Virginia is a community chorus of about 55 singers located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. With an upcoming twentieth anniversary to celebrate, the group asked their conductor, Dr. Jesse Hopkins, to suggest a composer to write a commissioned work for them. Hopkins turned immediately to a writer from whom he had successfully commissioned several times in the past, and the result was There Is Song for SATB chorus, trumpet and organ by Daniel E. Gawthrop.

Gawthrop asked for an original text on the topic of singing from his frequent collaborator Jane Griner. The team of Gawthrop and Griner is probably best known for the American choral classic Sing Me to Heaven, but they have worked together on dozens of other frequently performed pieces for choir over the last 25 years.

The new text speaks to the power of song in our lives. Spiritual but not sectarian, the piece will work well in concert and in some sacred services.

There Is Song is now in rehearsal in the Shenandoah Valley and the Schola Cantorum will premiere it on March 13th in Waynesboro. Conductor Jesse Hopkins says, “That song is analogous to life is celebrated in Gawthrop’s aural depiction of Jane Griner’s compelling text.  Subtle word painting and Gawthrop’s signature tempo, meter and key shifts, plus exciting roles for organ and trumpet solo, lead to a rousing conclusion of the value and power of song. The work is a significant component of our twentieth year celebration and represents our members’ profound love of choral music.”

Dunstan House will be publishing this new work soon—watch for an announcement!

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