Among Angels Concert CoverAmong Angels

October 27, 2018, 7:30 pm

October 28, 3:00 pm


I have loved Will Todd’s music for a number of years and so I jumped at the opportunity of bringing him to Ashland for this concert series. Many thanks to Dr. David Humphrey and the Oregon Center for the Performing Arts at Southern Oregon University for co-sponsoring Mr. Todd’s visit.

Will Todd’s “Among Angels” is one of the most beautiful, transporting pieces I know. The melody at the words “We carry you with soft wide wings” is so full of love and comfort. I began searching out complementary pieces with an angel theme. Eric Whitacre’s stunning “Sainte-Chapelle,” written for the Tallis Scholars, tells the story of the angels in those beautiful stained glass windows coming to life and singing beautifully. Will Todd’s ethereal “Angel Songs II” was a perfect fit, and the King’s Singers’ arrangement of Billy Joel’s “Good Night, My Angel” gives us the opportunity to sing an art setting of a popular song about the angelic in all children.

Angel-relief is provided by Morten Lauridsen’s evocative setting of Pablo Neruda’s passionate poem, “Ya eres mia” (“Now you are mine”), and a group of African-inspired pieces highlighted by South-African composer Peter Louis van Dijk’s cautionary tale of the San bushmen in the Western Cape welcoming the exploring westerners to their land with tragic results. Will Todd’s lyric “The Call of Wisdom” gave us the opportunity to have him guest-conduct Repertory Singers and the SOU Chamber Choir, and to feature SOU’s lovely pipe organ. Finally, two pieces with harp accompaniment, Jodi French’s dreamy “To-Night” (poetry of Sara Teasdale) and James Bassi’s elegant “Harpsonnets” (poetry of William Shakespeare) speak of the eternal aspects of romantic love.

We hope our music offers you a glimpse into a better world, where angels sing and beauty inspires.

Paul French Music Director

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A free pre-concert lecture by musicologist, Ed Wight, takes place one hour before each performance in Room 132 in the Music Building. To read Mr. Wight’s program notes, click here.