Explore The Sound 2021 showcased the talents of the North Central College‘s Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale, and special guest performers. The one-of-a-kind concert uses the Wentz Concert Hall stage in a way few other shows do, traveling and performing all over the hall as space and sound are explored.
This year the performers explore themselves as much as the hall, though that remains a central part. They are emerging from the pandemic cocoon, building physical stamina and overall mental wellness as they develop trust with the in-person experience. “Emergence” reflects lessons they have learned or ways in which they have grown or things they have become aware of and grateful for. Love. Birth or rebirth. Human Rights. Constancy or security in the face of change. The inner call to Soar or to Fly. Joy unbounded. And always, Song. Explore the Sound, while offering a different visual and sonic effect than most concert presentations, is always first and last about the music, the gift of organized, expressive sound that humans have enjoyed since the beginning of time and will continue to rely upon as a way to, as Ellen Dissanayake so aptly describes it, “make special.”
Almas de Barro
Santiago Veros, b. 1990
The lost looks, they merge They melt in the distance with dreams in silence Of the sweet embrace. Of the eyes. Dreams come together in solitude: And the lost souls come together. In the whisper Of the sweet embrace And in the caresses of the shadows, They awaken dreams. And the lost souls are fused in dreams.
Peter Warlock, 1894-1930 (sacred Latin text)
A boy comes forth Eya, this is our time, From the womb of a virgin. Glory! Praise! God is made man and immortal. Without the seed of a man Eya, this is our time, He is born of a virgin. Glory! Praise! God is made man and immortal. Without the means of a man, Eya, this is our time, He is born of Mary. Glory! Praise! God is made man and immortal. On this appointed feast, Eya, this is our time, Let us bless the Lord, Glory! Praise! God is made man and immortal.
When Thunder Comes
Mari Esabel Valverde, b. 1987 (J. Patrick Lewis, b. 1942)
The poor and dispossessed take up the drums For civil rights—freedoms to think and speak, Petition, pray, and vote. When thunder comes, The civil righteous are finished being meek. Why Sylvia Mendez bet against long odds, How Harvey Milk turned hatred on its head, Why Helen Zia railed against tin gods, How Freedom Summer’s soldiers faced the dread Are tales of thunder that I hope to tell From my thin bag of verse for you to hear In miniature, like ringing a small bell, And know a million bells can drown out fear. For history was mute witness when such crimes Discolored and discredited our times. Take up the drums. Think and speak. When thunder comes, the civil righteous are finished being meek.
Underneath the Stars
Kate Rusby, b. 1973 (arr. Jim Clements for VOCES8) Solo by Grace Nelles ‘22
O, go gently. O go, gently. Underneath the stars I’ll meet you, Underneath the stars I’ll greet you, And there beneath the stars I’ll leave you before you go of your own free will. Go gently. Go gently. Underneath the stars you met me, Underneath the stars you left me; I wonder if the stars regret me. At least you’ll go of your own free will. Go gently. Go gently. Here beneath the stars I’m landing, And here beneath the stars not ending. Oh, why on earth am I pretending? I’m here again, the stars befriending, They come and go of their own free will. Go gently. Go gently. Underneath the stars you met me, Underneath the stars you left me; I wonder if the stars regret me, I’m sure they’d like me if they only met me, They come and go of their own free will. Go gently. Go gently.
Craig Cornelia, b.1949 (arr. Ryan Murphy, b. 20th c.)
Let me run thru a field in the night, let me lift from the ground ‘til my soul is in flight. Let me sway like the shade of a tree, let me swirl like a cloud in a storm on the sea Wish me on my way thru the dawning day. I wanna flow, wanna rise, wanna spill, wanna grow in a grove on the side of a hill. I don’t care if the train runs late, if the checks don’t clear, if the house blows down. I’ll be off where the weeds run wild, where the seeds fall far from this earthbound town. And I’ll start to soar. Watch me rain ‘til I pour. I’ll catch a ship that’ll sail me astray, Get caught in a wind, I’ll just have to obey ‘til I’m flying away . . . Let me leave behind all the clouds in my mind, I wanna wake without wondering why, finding myself in a burst for the sky. High! I’ll just roll, let me lose all control. I wanna float like a wish in a well, free as the sound of the sea in a shell. 9 I don’t know, but maybe I’m just a fool, I should keep to the ground, I should stay where I’m at. Maybe everyone has hunger like this, and the hunger will pass. But I can’t think like that. All I know is somewhere, thru a clearing, there’s a flickering of sunlight on a river long and wide, and I have such a river inside. Let me run thru a field in the night, let me lift from the ground ‘til my soul is in flight. Let me sway like the shade of a tree, let me swirl like a cloud in a storm on the sea. Wish me on my way thru the dawning day. I wanna flow, wanna rise, wanna spill, wanna grow in a grove on the side of a hill. wanna shift like a wave rollin’ on, wanna drift from the path I’ve been traveling upon. before I am gone.
Elaine Hagenberg, b. 1979 (St. Augustine, 354-430)
All shall be Amen and Alleluia. We shall rest and we shall see. We shall see and we shall know. We shall know and we shall love. Behold our end which is no end. All shall be Amen!
Kim André Arnesen, b. 1980 (Euan Tait, b. 1968)
All we are, we have found in song: You have drawn this song from us Songs of lives unfolding Fly overhead, cry overhead: Longing, rising from the song within Moving like the rise and fall of wings Hands that shape our calling voice On the edge of answers You’ve heard our cry, you’ve known our cry: Music’s fierce compassion flows from you The night is restless with the sounds we hear Is broken, shaken by the cries of pain: For this is music’s inner voice Saying, yes, we hear you All you who cry aloud And we will fly, answering you: So our lives sing, sing Wild we will fly Wild in spirit we will fly Like a feather falling from the wing Fragile as a human voice Afraid, uncertain Alive to love, we sing as love Afraid, uncertain Yet our flight begins as song.
More Community Events
Watch 2019’s Explore the Sound performance on our Community Events page.