New Composition Premiered at First Church on December 12
“It Is a Holy Night” was written by First Church member Richard Curzi expressly for our Sr. Choir and the Christmas Major Music Service on December 12, 2010, with a special dedication to Rev. Alfa Radford in honor of her extraordinary 50 years of service to our church. The piece was originally conceived as the second movement of a yet-to-be-written larger work for chorus and orchestra, entitled “Nativity.” This movement begins as a lullaby sung by Mary to the newborn Jesus, but continues as a commentary on the miracle of every birth and the fragility of life.
Regarding the text, Richard says, “I first heard the Reading,“For So The Children Come” by Sophia Lyon Fahs at a First Church Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, and it moved me deeply then, as it does now. The words ‘A time for singing, a time for wondering, a time for worshiping’ harken back to Ecclesiastes 3, so I couldn’t resist using that text for the final dozen bars.” Each movement of the larger work will contain quotations from a familiar Christmas carol. This movement is rather obvious, during the a cappella section, in drawing from the “Fall on your knees” refrain in “O Holy Night.”
Text of “It Is a Holy Night” -Sophia Lyon Fahs & Ecclesiastes 3
Each night a child is born, it is a holy night
A time for singing, a time for wondering, a time for worshiping.
For so the children come, and so they have been coming.
Always the same way they come, born of the seed of a man and a woman.
No angels herald their beginnings; no prophets predict their future courses.
No wise men see a star to show where to find the babe that can save humankind.
For each night a child is born is a holy night.
Fathers and mothers sitting beside their children’s cribs
Feel glory in the sight of a new life beginning.
They ask, “Where and how will this new life end?
Or will it ever end? Or will it ever end?
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to win, a time to lose
A time to love, a time of war
A time of peace, a time of peace, peace.
|Jessica Rossi (soloist, section leader)
|Mara Goldberg (section leader)
|Davron Monroe (section leader)
|Chuck Claus (section leader)
|Kenneth Stalberg, Concertmaster
Elizabeth Abbate, violin
Coleen Bennett, violin
Stanley Silverman, violin
David Schreiber, viola
Jing Li, cello
Deborah Jones, contra-bass
Susan Jackson, flute
Terry D’Errico, flute
|Veronica Kenney, oboe
Nancy Shapiro, oboe
Robin Hillyard, bassoon
Robinson Pyle, trumpet
Greg Gettel, trumpet
Tom Duprey, trumpet
Evan Louden, timpani
Roger Brown, percussion
Michael Serio, “harp” (digital keyboard)