When it comes to choral music, there are distinct similarities to other instrumentations. After all, the voice is an instrument of sorts. People that listen to specific types of music often gravitate to the most popular composers or performers within that style and instrumentation. That can and, in fact, does change over time. Clearly, what people listen to today is different from previous decades or even centuries. Even though choral music does tend to be largely classical, there are other choral performance styles that come and go in popularity. Think about the resurgence of a cappella singing. Human vocalizations are the root of human music, but once other instruments were invented, the human voice was more often utilized in conjunction with other sounds. Personally, I appreciate both accompanied and unaccompanied choral music. There is a time and a place for both and frankly, good a cappella performances are often impressive and tremendously moving (see Voces8, Home Free, and Voctave, to name a few).
Along with style trends, there are composer/arranger trends as well. Benjamin Britten and Edward Elgar were at the top of their game in the early and middle twentieth century, respectively. Handel was a master at combining music and text, primarily in the eighteenth century. More recently, Eric Whitacre, Eriks Esenvalds, Ola Gjeilo and Will Todd have enjoyed good runs. These days, composers are popular for much shorter periods as the dispersal of music is much quicker. Now days, a song can be shared almost instantaneously worldwide, as opposed to the years it sometimes took in previous eras to make its way across a continent. And if it ‘goes viral’, the audience can quickly climb into the hundreds – thousands – even millions. With that in mind, the list of “hot” composers is relatively short and right now there are some clear leaders.
Appreciating that there are definite trends in choral music brings me to the point of our breaking news. The chorus has been privileged to perform several pieces composed by some of the composers mentioned above. There is one other worthy of mention - Kim Arnesen. Kim is a Norwegian composer that is on that short list of hot composers right now. Take some time to visit YouTube and search for some of his compositions and I think you will understand why he is a current standout. We are excited to announce that the Liberty Community Chorus has been successful in capturing some of his time and talent. Kim has agreed to compose a commissioned piece in celebration of the chorus’ fifteen-year anniversary. We will perform this piece at our last concert on June 2nd, 2019 at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri.
The communication we have had with Kim is that he is both excited about and appreciative of the opportunity to work with the chorus. He knows that this is a quality chorus and the world premiere of his work will be in good hands. The expectation and excitement are palpable as we wait to see what he has in mind. Knowing what we know about his abilities, we can safely say that you will not want to miss this concert and our interpretation of Kim’s contribution.