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Texts to inaugurate a new auditorium

Good evening!
 
Our high school music wing has getting a much-deserved makeover over the past year.  The band and choir rooms are done(-ish), and we are expecting the new auditorium to be ready for early spring 2015.  Our music department has been in discussions about creating an event to properly inaugurate our new auditorium, as a way to "show off" the new space, and I offered to compose something especially for the event.
 
So naturally, I am in search of a good text to use for the choir portion of this new piece.  I'm aware of "Locus Iste," and that may find its way into a portion of the work, but I'm leaning towards a big multimedia number, possibly 7-10 minutes in length, that showcases everything we've got music-wise.  I'm in search of any text from any part of the world meant to proclaim the importance and/or sacred nature of a space.  Love to hear what you know of!
 
Cheers,
Daniel McGarvey
 
Replies (10): Threaded | Chronological
on March 13, 2014 8:10pm

Consecrate the Place and Day

Text: Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

Consecrate the place and day
To music and Cecelia
Let no rough winds approach

nor dare Invade the hallowed bounds,
Nor rudely shake the tuneful air,

Nor spoil the fleeting, fleeting sounds.
Nor mournful sigh nor groan be heard,

But gladness dwell on every tongue:
Whilst all, with voice and strings prepared,

Keep up the loud harmonious song.
And imitate the blest above in joy and harmony.
Applauded by an audience of 3
on March 14, 2014 10:28am
I have a 17 min. cantata on this very topic, written for HS choirs: •Of Arts and Elements• on original poetry by Charles Crawford (scoring: SATB  div., 3 trpt, Pno, 2 perc., str).
 
The text lines up music, drama and dance with 3 of the 4 primal elements: air, fire & water, respectively; earth is represented by the building itself.
 
Please write me privately if you'd like to see the libretto/hear & see the work.
 
Robert A. M. Ross
robertamross(a)verizon.net
Soundcloud.com: <Robert Ross 11>
on March 15, 2014 8:06am
Sinfonia Voci by David Holsinger.  Maybe not quite as long as you'd like, but worth considering.  http://trnmusic.com/products/Sinfonia-Voci-(I-Sing-the-Mighty-Power-of-God).html  It is a thrilling piece for both the band and choir.
on March 15, 2014 10:08pm
Behold, I build an house
 
Behold, I build an house to the Lord, my God...
and the house which I build is great: for great is our God.
 
Behold, when they lifted up their voice and praised the Lord,
with trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, saying:
for He is good, for His mercy endureth....
 
Behold, then the house was filled with a cloud,
for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
...that Thine eyes may be open upon this house.
 
(Second Chronicles 2, 5 & 6)
 
Dear Daniel,
 
Here is a text which I borrowed from Lukas Foss's wonderful piece of the same name when I myself wrote a new work for the inauguration of a new Abbey Church at a nearby Benedictine monastery. It might work for you, too.
 
Regards,
 
Jon Washburn
Vancouver Chamber Choir
Applauded by an audience of 2
on March 16, 2014 11:03am
I also have a short Locus iste in English for 2-pt. mixed chorus, brass quartet and organ that awaits world premiere that might make a good opener…
 
Robert A. M. Ross
robertamross(a)verizon.net
Soundcloud.com: <Robert Ross 11>
on March 19, 2014 12:25pm
Purcell's Come Ye Sons of Art might work.
 
on March 20, 2014 4:35am
Okay, it's your local curmudgeon on board.  Is it me, or is there something off about using a sacred text in this context?  I agree with the notion that we should ask God's blessings on our endeavors, but that's because I'm a believer; but this IS a high school auditorium and music wing, after all; not a church.  Given all the givens, is it appropriate to use a sacred text in a place which, unless a religion-affiliated school, is specifically indicated as using sacred music ONLY as a way to expose the students to the broader range of music?  (In just about every program I see at various schools here in Northern Virginia a statement is made to the effect that the Program of Instruction for Choral Music requires exposure to the broadest possible range of music, sacred and secular - and this in an area where the possibilities of faiths and non-beliefs come into daily, if not momentary, contact.)  Certainly sacred music will be done within the space, but presumably NOT specifically for a liturgical or sacred purpose.  Locus iste's text in particular bothers me - "This is the place God has made for the sacred mysteries..."  What sacred mysteries will take place within?  The mystery of human music-making?  Perhaps, but not Bruckner's intent.  It would be better to take a look at Beethoven's "Consecration of the House" for a textual context that makes exact sense here - it was intended to dedicate an opera house in Vienna!  
 
On the other hand, if this IS a religion-affiliated school, knock yourself out with the texts - and quite a number of those listed above are great.  But please, let's keep in mind there are good reasons to separate the Church and the State!
 
Ron
Applauded by an audience of 2
on March 20, 2014 2:59pm
And the text is secular in this cantata!
Robert A. M. Ross
robertamross(a)verizon.net
Soundcloud.com: <Robert Ross 11>
 
on March 21, 2014 6:55am
Excellent! Like every word that Joseph Addison ever put to page.
on March 23, 2014 6:43am
My setting of Numbers 24:5-6, "How fair are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel, like valleys that stretch, like gardens beside the river."  might suit this purpose.  It's a short chorale (1 1/2 minutes) from Moses at the Jordan River, an oratorio.   Brief example recording here:  https://soundcloud.com/williamcopper/moses-at-the-jordan-river-11 .
As set in the oratorio, it needed to be in F# major (6 sharp key signature) but could easily be printed and sung in F.   Like everything else I write these days, each note has a specific intonation indication for perfect tuning.
 
Other choral examples at https://soundcloud.com/williamcopper
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