Music that explores the beauty of healing after heartbreak.

Works by Ticheli, Whitacre, Esenvalds, Paulus and Thompson.

Great Bend Chorale

Matthew Melendez, Director

Program Note

The torn heart cries out in pain,

But music and singing have been my refuge,
And music and singing shall be my light.

I can’t believe I was unaware of Frank Ticheli before our choir member Kathy Brooks sent me a recording of “Earth Song” this past winter.

But in listening to the work, and then reading the poetry, I quickly decided that this piece, and specifically the lines above, would be the ideal work around which to program a concert about healing after heartbreak.

Elton John is right, sad songs truly say so much. That’s probably why there are so many of them. But this collection of works take that sadness as an opening to find hope and healing. They take this sadness and from it find strength and renewal. This seemed an especially appropriate area to explore in the first of what I hope will be many collaborations with Quixote Communities and the veterans in our community they serve.

Stories, poems, and music can all be powerful forms for us to share things that aren’t easy to communicate in other ways. Heartbreak is an essential part of the human experience, and personally I have found (am finding) that it introduces me to new parts of myself, and new skills and perspectives I might not have otherwise discovered.

I hope you find, as we did, that as painful as it is, heartbreak can form the basis of a powerful new beginning.

— Matthew Melendez, June 2024

 

We also wish to extend special thank yous to our friends at Faith Lutheran Church and St. David of Wales Epsicopal Church; and to Mason Health, our 2023-24 Live Music Sponsor, and ArtsWA’s Wellness, Arts and the Military (WAM) grant prgoram which made this program possible.

Also, a heartfelt thank you to the Great Bend staff – Laura Johnson, Heidi Nelson, Julia Aguilar Jerez, and Alessandra Abraham – for their support and superlative work during an especially intense and challenging school year. 

Performers

Matthew Melendez, Director

Great Bend Center for Music Founder, General Director

Matthew’s passion is making music with people who don’t think of themselves as musicians. Kids who have never sung in groups. Seniors who haven’t sung since high school. Tourists who had no idea they were walking into a Beer Choir. Really, no one is safe from singing around him.

In addition to undergraduate degrees in the arts of persuasion (Advertising Copywriting and Social Psychology), he has a master’s degree in vocal performance and pedagogy (where his thesis research focused on the power of cultural tourism to revitalize rural communities) and a doctoral degree (ABD) in choral conducting.

His current research is centered on the community development applications of community music, and the transformative power of early childhood music for communities and families.

In 2019 he made his Carnegie Hall debut leading two non-auditioned youth and adult ensembles in a world-premiere choral cantata commissioned for the occasion. The Shelton, Washington performance of that work, “Borders” by John Muehleisen, won second in the community division of the 2019-20 American Prize: Ernst Bacon Award for the Performance of American Music. But even before this, community ensembles he’s either led or managed have shown a strong propensity for getting Lincoln Center and White House invitations.

Joe Sartori, Piano

Joe enjoys playing piano at home, but especially enjoys making music with others at Great Bend Center for Music. At Washington State University, Joe earned his bachelor of music degree in piano performance, where he studied both piano and organ performance. He also took extensive studies in collaborative piano—that is playing piano with other musicians—studying accompanying and taking private lessons focused on how to play as part of an ensemble. Collaborative piano exercises a very different skill set then that of solo performance.

Today, Joe lives in Gig Harbor, where he loves playing piano at his home parish, St. Nicholas, whenever given the opportunity. In his free time, he loves spending time outdoors while listening to all genres of music or just breathing in the fresh air.

Sopranos

Kathryn Brooks

Laura Johnson

Sara Rieck

Brenda Satrum

EmmaRae Siemssen

Cassie Harris Smith

Jenny Spence*

Jae Still

Erin Tucker

 

Alto

Leisa Ashbaugh

Ashley Everett

Sara Kaufmann-Bradstreet

Marjorie Lyon

Erin Martinache

Anna Miller

Heidi Nelson

Ardell Razor

Lael Rieck

Elisabeth Sharpes

Tenor

Gary Cannon*

Carol Colin

Austin George

Kimberly Gregg

Dustin Kaspar*

Ferren Morse

 

Bass

Michael Harris

Bob Kim*

Paul Nakhla*

Chad Rieck

Michael Rieck

Philip Tschopp*

*Teaching Artist

Program & Lyrics

Lay me Low (1838)

Addah Z. Potter, arr. Kevin Seigfried (b. 1969)

The Road Home (2002)

Stephen Paulus (1949-2014)

The Seal Lullaby (2018)

Eric Whitacre (b. 1970)

Sleep (2010)

Eric Whitacre (b. 1970)

Only in Sleep (2012)

Eriks Esenvalds (b. 1977)

EmmaRae Siemssen, soprano solo

Earth Song (2006)

Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)

Alleluia (1940)

Randall Thompson (1899-1984)

Light of a Clear Blue Morning (1977)

Dolly Parton (b. 1946) – arr. Craig Hella Johnson (b. 1962)

Heidi Nelson solost; EmmaRae Siemssen, Laura Johnson, Anna Miller, trio

Lay me Low

Addah Z. Potter, arr. Kevin Seigfried (b. 1969)

Lay me low,
lay me low,
lay me low.

Where my mother can find me,
Where my mother can hold me,
Where my mother can bless me.

The Road Home

Michael Dennis Brown, arr. Stephen Paulus (1949-2014)

Tell me, where is the road
I can call my own
That I left, that I lost
So long ago
All these years I have wandered
Oh, when will I know
There’s a way, there’s a road
That will lead me home.

After wind, after rain
When the dark is done
As I wake from a dream
In the gold of day
Through the air there’s a calling
From far away
There’s a voice I can hear
That will lead me home.

Rise up, follow me
Come away, is the call
With the love in your heart
As the only song
There is no such beauty
As where you belong
Rise up, follow me
I will lead you home.

The Seal Lullaby

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), Eric Whitacre (b. 1970)

 

Oh! hush thee, my babyThe night is behind usAnd black are the waters that sparkled so greenThe moon, o’er the combersLooks downward to find usAt rest in the hollows that rustle between
Where billow meets billowThere soft be thy pillowAh, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!The storm shall not wake theeNor shark overtake theeAsleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seasAsleep in the armsOf the slow-swinging seas.

Sleep

Charles Anthony Silvestri, b.1965, Eric Whitacre, b. 1970

The evening hangs beneath the moon,
A silver thread on darkened dune.
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon.

Upon my pillow, safe in bed,
A thousand pictures fill my head.
I cannot sleep, my mind’s a-flight;
And yet my limbs seem made of lead.

If there are noises in the night,
A frightening shadow, flickering light,
Then I surrender unto sleep,
Where clouds of dream give second sight,

What dreams may come, both dark and deep,
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep,
As I surrender unto sleep.

Only in Sleep

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), Eriks Esenvalds (b. 1977)

 

Only in sleep I see their facesChildren I played with when I was a childLouise comes back with her brown hair braidedAnnie with ringlets warm and wild
Only in sleep Time is forgotten—What may have come to them, who can know?Yet we played last night as long agoAnd the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair
Only in sleep I see their facesChildren I played with when I was a childLouise comes back with her brown hair braidedAnnie with ringlets warm and wild
Only in sleep Time is forgotten—What may have come to them, who can know?Yet we played last night as long agoAnd the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair
I met their eyes and found them mild—Do they, too, dream of me, I wonderAnd for them am I too a child?

Earth Song

Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)

Sing, be, live, see
This dark stormy hour
The wind, it stirs
The scorched Earth cries out in vain

Oh war and power, you blind and blur
The torn heart cries out in pain

But music and singing have been my refuge
And music and singing shall be my light

A light of song, shining strong
Hallelujah, hallelujah

Through darkness and pain and strife
I’ll sing, I’ll be, live, see.

Peace.

 

Alleluia

Randall Thompson (1899-1984)

Alleluia. Amen.

Light of a Clear Blue Morning

Dolly Parton (b. 1946), arr. Craig Hella Johnson (b. 1962)

 

It’s been a long dark nightAnd I’ve been a waitin’ for the morningIt’s been a long hard fightBut I see a brand new day a dawningI’ve been looking for the sunshineYou know I ain’t seen it in so longBut everything’s gonna work out just fineAnd everything’s gonna be all rightThat’s been all wrong
‘Cause I can see the light of a clear blue morningI can see the light of a brand new dayI can see the light of a clear blue morning.

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