TIMELESS – April 28, 2024

ADVANCE ONLINE TICKETS:
$25 Adult | $15 Youth (U18) | $80 Family (2A 3Y) | Children Free (U7)

AT THE DOOR:
$30 Adult | $20 Youth (U18) | $95 Family (2A 3Y) | Children Free (U7)

Artist Bios

North Sky Chorale

North Sky Chorale is a mixed voice Chamber Choir based in and around Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The choir is newly formed by members who commit to learning the repertoire on their own before rehearsals begin 2 weeks before each concert. Like the panoramic living skies in Saskatchewan, the choir presents music wide in scope and colour. Pieces that feature or reflect the characteristics of light are favourites.

Richard Janzen, Artistic Director

Richard is a retired high school choral arts teacher. He spent his entire career at RJC High School in Rosthern, where he was in charge of the music, choral, and performing arts program. In addition to NSC, Richard finds meaningful expression in directing local church choirs for special occasions and as a resource to choirs and directors in Saskatchewan. In his spare time, Richard enjoys cooking, gardening, travelling, and tinkering with his classic 1964 Sedan de Ville.

Audrey Falk Janzen, Collaborative Pianist

Audrey fills her time as a private music educator and specialist. She maintains a private teaching studio in and around Rosthern. In addition to her work with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (she is a member of the College of Examiners and facilitates online courses in pedagogy for the RCM) Audrey enjoys yearly assignments to adjudicate various music festivals in Western Canada. Hand crafts, puzzles, traveling, and visiting her adult children as often as possible bring her soul refreshing enjoyment.

St Vincent’s Chamber Voices

St. Vincent’s Chamber Voices, formed in 2023, draws its singers from the regular choristers at St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Unique in the sense of being a “working” ensemble, they join their voices not only for a few shows a year, but for a regular liturgical services: weekly Vespers and Divine Liturgy, Lent, Holy Week, Pascha, Advent, and Nativity, often over one hundred services a year.  The hope is that their love for singing and praying spills over into every performance. [photo by David Stobbe / Stobbe Photo]

Kimbal Siebert, Director

Kimbal is best known for his work in the pop music industry as in in-demand session and live guitarist.  Less known is that he spends weekends working as music director at St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church in Saskatoon (now in the former 3rd Avenue United building), chanting and conducting choirs for liturgical services.  A second generation choir director, Kimbal enjoys bringing the ancient a cappella liturgical music from Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Byzantine and North American sources to life with the eager singers from St. Vincent’s.

Program Notes

*Canadian Composer

NORTH SKY CHORALE

KAHKIYAW OSKÂYAK (ALL THE YOUNG PEOPLE) – Sherryl Sewepagaham*

Sherryl Sewepagaham is Cree-Dene from the Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta. She is a former elementary music teacher and director of two Indigenous children’s choirs. Sherryl was also a 23-year member of the Indigenous women’s trio, ASANI and earned a 2006 Juno nomination and a Canadian Folk Music Award win in 2010. Sherryl is a singer-songwriter and composes songs in Cree for children and choral arrangements for children, youth and adult choirs. Sherryl is a strong advocate for language revitalization through the arts and the preservation and creation of Cree language songs with the traditional hand drum and rattle.

Kahkiyaw Oskâyak (All the Young People) was commissioned by Ottawa’s OrKidstra’s social development program for their end-of-year, virtual celebration in 2019. Kahkiyaw Oskâyak honours the younger generation and blesses and guides our future leaders in their journey as they sing in unity.

Kahkiyaw oskâyak otâh askihk Mamaw nikamowak
All the young people on this earth, sing together!

NON NOBIS DOMINE – Rosephanye Powell (b. 1962)

Rosephanye Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of solo vocal and choral music. Dr. Powell’s works have been conducted and premiered by nationally and internationally renowned conductors and have been premiered at distinguished halls around the USA, including Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and Spivey Hall.

The phrase Non nobis Domine comes from the Vulgate (Psalm 113: 9). In the 1611 translation of the Bible, the King James Version, it opens Psalm 115 (‘Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord’): the Latin phrase appears at the head of that Psalm in the Book of Common Prayer. It is a prayer of thanksgiving for some great achievement which avoids the sin of pride by ascribing the credit to God.

Powell’s setting of this Latin poem requires the singer to aggressively and percussively repeat the opening text, like a constant personal reminder that it is not about us, until it is finally released into a wonder-filled and calming “sed nomine…” (but your name be glorified), only to return to the first stringent reminder. 

Non nobis, Domine, non nobis; Sed nomine tuo da gloriam.
Not to us, Lord, not to us; But to your name be the glory.

MISSA BREVIS NO. 4 – Eleanor Daley* (b. 1955)

Eleanor Daley is a Canadian composer of choral and church music, a church choir director, choral clinician and accompanist. She lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. Among her best-known works are The Rose Trilogy and Requiem.

Missa Brevis is literally translated to “Short Mass”.  Weekly services at liturgical parishes all around the world will contain the same basic elements within the “mass”. Elements are sometines sung, spoken, or chanted. Daley’s setting takes four main parts of the mass and sets them into short sung pieces. The text, whether in Latin, Greek, or English, would be familiar to congregants in churches that follow the mass.

I. Kyrie

Kyrie eleison (3x) Lord, have mercy on us
Christe eleison (3x) Christ, have mercy on us
Kyrie eleison (3x) Lord, have mercy on us

II. Sanctus

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth are full thy glory.
Glory be to thee, O Lord most high!

III. Benedictus

Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!

IV. Agnus Dei

O Lamb of God that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. (2x)
O Lamb of God that takest away the sin of he world, grant us thy peace.

SICUT CERVUS – Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina (circa. 1525-1594)

Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina was an Italian Renaissance composer of more than 105 masses and 250 motets. He was a master of contrapuntal composition. He lived during the period of the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation and was a primary representative of the 16th-century conservative approach to church music.

Palestrina’s Sicut cervus is a motet setting of Psalm 42:1 for four voices. The Psalm was a prescribed tract (a solemn alternative for the Alleluia usually sung during mass) for the blessing of the water (font) on Holy Saturday, recalling the water of baptism as well as the “living water of the eucharist”. It was published in 1604 and has become one of Palestrina’s most popular motets, regarded as a model of Renaissance polyphony, expressing spiritual yearning.

Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus.
As a hart (deer) longs for the flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. 

NORTHERN LIGHTS – Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978)

Ola Gjeilo was born in Norway in 1978 and moved to the United States in 2001 to begin his composition studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. He currently lives in Laguna Beach, California.

Gjeilo calls Northern Lights his “most Norwegian production in years; composed in an attic outside of Oslo at Christmas time in 2007.” Most of all, this piece and its text is about beauty – a ‘terrible’, powerful beauty, although the music is quite serene on the surface. The Biblical text is from Song of Solomon, a book often overlooked for its sensual texts.

Pulchra es amica mea, suavis et decora sicut Jerusalem,
terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata.
Averte oculos tuos a me
quia ipsi me avolare fecerunt.

Thou art beautiful, O my love, sweet and comely as Jerusalem,
terrible as an army set in array.
Turn away thy eyes from me,
for they have made me flee away. (Song of Solomon 6)

COMBINED CHOIRS

CHERUBIC HYMN NO. 7 – Dmitri Bortniansky (1751-1825)

Dmitri Stepanovich Bortniansky was a Russian Imperial composer of Ukrainian Cossack origin. He was also a harpsichordist and conductor who served at the court of Catherine the Great. Bortniansky was critical to the musical history of both Russia and Ukraine, with both nations claiming him as their own.

Bortniansky, who has been compared to Palestrina, is known today for his liturgical works and prolific contributions to the genre of choral concertos. He was so popular in the Russian Empire that his figure was represented in 1862 in a bronze monument in the Novgorod Kremlin. He composed in many different musical styles, including choral compositions in French, Italian, Latin, German, and Church Slavonic.

The combined choirs on North Sky Chorale and St Vincent’s Chamber Voices will perform this hymn in English today. It is a piece that is regularly used in St Vincent’s services by their choir.

Amen.
We who mystically represent the cherubim
And sing to the life giving Trinity, the thrice holy hymn;
Let us now lay aside all earthly care.

Amen.
That we may receive the King of all
Who comes invisibly upborne by the angelic hosts.
Alleluia.

ST VINCENT’S CHAMBER VOICES

OTCHE NASH – Nikolai Kedrov Sr. (1871-1940)

Nikolai Kedrov Sr. was born in St. Petersburg, into a priest’s family. After completing the church precentors’ course at the Imperial Court Chapel, he directed a choir for fashionable young upper-class ladies in Mily Balakirev’s Free Music School. A student of Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai Kedrov was also a talented composer. In 1922 he composed his best-known piece, Otche Nash (Our Father), which has become a staple in the repertoire of many Orthodox church choirs.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Amen

O GLADSOME LIGHT – traditional Byzantine

O Gladsome Light (originally Phos Hilaron) is an ancient Christian hymn originally written in Koine Greek in the 3rd or 4th centuries. Phos Hilaron is to be sung at the lighting of lamps in the evening and so is sometimes known as the “Lamp-lighting Hymn”.

O gladsome light of the holy glory of the immortal Father,  heavenly, holy, blessed Jesus Christ
Now that we have come to the setting of the sun, and behold the light of evening,
We praise God the Father, Son and Holy Spririt.
For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise,
O Son of God and giver of life.
Therefore all the world glorifies Thee.

BLESS THE LORD – Father Sergei Glagolev (1928-2021)

Archpriest Sergei Glagolev was a pioneering English-language composer who was immensely influential in music and parish life in North American Orthodoxy. Father Glagolev contributed enormously to North American church hymnography, especially through the creation of English-language musical compositions with a uniquely American sound and the introduction of those pieces into Orthodox Christian parishes.

Bless the Lord O my soul, blessed are you O Lord!
O Lord my God you are very great.
Blessed are you O Lord!
The waters stood above the mountains.
How glorious are your works O Lord!
How manifold are your works, O Lord.
In wisdom you have made them all
Glory to you, O Lord, who have created all.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia,
Glory to you, O God!

CHERUBIC HYMN – traditional Georgian

Georgia, the oldest continually Orthodox country in the world, has a rich heritage of a cappella liturgical music stretching back over one thousand years.  Deep within this tradition is the Cherubicon, the hymn signalling the beginning of the Eucharistic portion of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy:  “Let us who mystically represent the cherubim, and sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life giving trinity, now lay aside all earthly cares….”   Simple, stepwise melodic movement over a drone bass substructure clearly reflect the influence of Byzantine Greek chant, while the three-part harmony, resolving to a unison conclusion, are a theological representation of  the trinity in unity.

Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim,
and sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-creating trinity
now lay aside all earthly cares.
That we may receive the King of all,
invisibly escorted by the angelic hosts.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

THE ANGEL CRIED – Mily Balakirev (1837-1910)

Mily Balakirev was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor known today primarily for his work promoting musical nationalism and his encouragement of more famous Russian composers, notably Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

The angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace, “Rejoice, rejoice O pure virgin.
Again I say rejoice, your Son is risen from his three days in the tomb.
With himself he has raised all the dead, rejoice, rejoice O ye people.
Shine, shine, shine O new Jerusalem, the glory of the Lord has shone on you.
Exult now, exult, and be glad O Zion.
Be radiant O pure Theotokos in the resurrection of your Son!

COMBINED CHOIRS

ALLELUIA (from “Passion Week”) – Maximillian Steinberg (1883-1946)

Maximilian Osseyevich Steinberg was a Russian composer of classical music. Though once considered the hope of Russian music, Steinberg is far less well known today than his mentor Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, his rival Igor Stravinsky, or his student protege Dmitri Shostakovich. During the early 21st century, however, Steinberg’s choral concerto Passion Week was rediscovered and performed for the first time. It was instantly lavishly praised as a masterpiece by both lovers and performers of Classical music. This has triggered a revival of interest in the life and music of Maximilian Steinberg.

Led by a cantor, the choir responds with a lush and repetitive “ALLELUIA”. Listen for the combined choir’s attempt at what is a traditional Russian/Ukrainian sound – the bass “oktavist”  – a type of voice used in Slavonic liturgical and folk music. These singers sing roughly an octave below the bass range. 

NORTH SKY CHORALE

LUNAR LULLABY – Jacob Narverud (b. 1986)

Jacob Narverud is an American Choral Composer and Arranger. A native Kansan, Narverud is the Founding Artistic Director of the Tallgrass Chamber Choir, a professional ensemble of musicians from across the Great Plains. As a sought-after composer, he has been commissioned to write new works for many ensembles in North America, Australia, and Japan.  Many of his titles are international best sellers and are performed worldwide by choirs of all levels.

There are many poems that describe sunset or the rising moon. Lunar Lullaby instead invokes a sense of longing for the moon who is missed during the daylight hours. For you who love a full moon hanging in the morning sky, this song is for you.

The moon settles in the dusky sky.
The gentle eyes of the north star rest upon your sleeping face
and the heavens gaze upon you.

In this moment, I know;
You are not from the ground on which you tread, but of the stars.
You are my radiant, my celestial child.

As night is drown’d by morning you remain at my side,
accompanying the sunrise until night swells again across the sky!
Then, dreaming, you return to the stars.
You are my radiant, my celestial child.

NOOTKA PADDLE SONG – Imant Raminsh* (b. 1943)

Imant Raminsh is a Canadian composer of Latvian descent, best known for his choral compositions. He resides in Coldstream, British Columbia.

Nootka Paddle Song is a welcoming song from British Columbia. It features free incantation along with evocative choral writing that hints at misty sounds wafting from great distance over the waters of the Pacific Northwest. It is the first movement of Raminsh’s Northwest Trilogy.

Yeh a ay u ay eh ah o, Way hoi!
O say! I hear drums!
Echoing so far away, voices sing joyfully, I’ll stay!
Songs! Nearer now, yes! Louder they sound o’er the sea!
It is my own people. Can it be?
There! There! O there! I see friends!
Singing their paddling song. Look at them skim along home!
I see them! I hear them! Nearer now, voices sing joyfully!
Yeh a ay u ay eh ah o, Way hoi!

IL EST BEL ET BON – Pierre Passereau (circa. 1509-1547)

Pierre Passereau was a Renaissance composer from France who specialized in light-hearted chansons (secular French songs). Most of them were “rustic” in character, similar to patter songs, using onomatopoeia, double entendres, and frequent “earthy” language, a common feature of popular music in France and the Low Countries in the 1530s. One of Passerau’s favourite techniques was using nonsense language to imitate animals, which is vividly shown in this piece, Il est bel et bon, featuring a delightful staccato quasi-round that emulates clucking chickens. The frivolous text refers to two gossiping women extolling their husbands’ diligence in doing the chores (among other things…) and, yes, feeding the chickens.

Il est bel et bon, bon, bon, commère, mon mari.

Il était deux femmes toutes d’un pays,
disant l’une à l’autre: “Avez bon mari?”

Il ne me courroucé ne me bat aussi.
Il fait le ménage, il donne aux poulailles,
et je prends mes plaisirs.

Commère ç’est pour rire quand les poulailles crient: “Co co dae”
Petite coquette, qu’est ceci?

He is handsome and a good gossiper, my husband.

There were two women of the country,
saying to one another: “Do you have a good husband?”

He doesn’t get angry at me or beat me either.
He does the chores, he feeds the chickens,
and I take my pleasure.

Friend, it is funny when the chickens call out: “Co co dae”
Little chick, what is this?

O MY LUVE’S LIKE A RED, RED ROSE – David Dickau (b. 1953)

Dr. David Dickau is a choral conductor and composer residing in Boise, Idaho. He retired in May 2019 from a career as Director of Choral Activities at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  As a part of his duties, Dr. Dickau conducted the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers and taught conducting and composition.

This beautiful love poem by Robert Burns is wonderfully set by Dr. Dickau, emphatically declaring that no distance is too great to overcome for the two lovers.

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose that’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like a melody that’s sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass so deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear, till all the seas gang dry.
Till all the seas gang dry, my dear, and the rocks melt with the sun;
And I will love thee still, my dear, while the sands of life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve, and fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve, tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

IT WAS A LOVER AND HIS LASS – John Rutter (b. 1945)

John Rutter is an English composer and conductor, associated mainly with choral music and active internationally for many years. His larger choral works, Gloria, Requiem, Magnificat, Mass of the Children, The Gift of Life, and Visions, are widely performed around the world, and many of his shorter pieces such as The Lord bless you and keep you, For the beauty of the earth, Look at the world, and All things bright and beautiful have become ‘standards’. He has composed or arranged many Christmas carols.

The text for It Was a Lover and His Lass is from a song in Act 5, Scene 3 of William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. Though Thomas Morley’s Renaissance bard-setting of the poem may be more well known, Rutter has given it a fresh take with a cheeky and cheer-filled jazz setting.

It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino.
That o’er the green cornfield did pass,
In spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding:
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Between the acres of the rye,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country folks would lie.
In spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding:
Sweet lovers love the spring.

And therefore take the present time,
Any with hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crowned with the prime
In spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding:
Sweet lovers love the spring.

COMBINED CHOIRS

IF YE LOVE ME – Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)

Thomas Tallis was one of the most important English composers of sacred music before William Byrd. His style encompassed the simple Reformation service music and the great Continental polyphonic schools whose influence he was largely responsible for introducing into English music.

If Ye Love Me is a four-part motet (anthem), a setting of a passage from the Gospel of John. First published in 1565 during the reign of Elizabeth I, it is an example of Tudor music and is part of the repertoire of Anglican church music. It has become a standard for choirs everywhere. If you have ever sung in a choir, you have probably sung If Ye Love Me by Thomas Tallis.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father,
and he shall give you another comforter,
that he may ‘bide with you forever;
E’en the sp’rit of truth. (John 14: 15-17)