Greetings, dear GCS,
In conclusion of our month-long Black History Month observance it is my particular pleasure to share a performance of a work we will rehearse in-person next week, William L Dawson’s arrangement of the spiritual ‘Ain’t-a that good news.’
Songs about one’s heavenly reward are a common theme in spirituals – so entrenched was the institution of slavery that death frequently offered the only imagineable freedom. This very popular choral arrangement is an outburst of joy at the crown, harp and robe awaiting the singer in heaven – the crown being symbolic of the freedom of a king, the harp, of singing God’s praise for eternity, and the robe, of luxury and comfort otherwise unimaginable for the enslaved.
The group performing is the University Singers of the University of Duluth, Minnesota under Richard Robbins, singing at the 2019 convention of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.
“Ain’-a that good news” is the ‘A’ entry in my pandemic GCS ‘alphabetic library project’ (ALP), in which I found a piece in our music library beginning with each letter of the alphabet that could one day comprise a program, or at least part of one. It is not at all sure we can host and pull off a performance in our normal pattern this spring, but we’ll begin rehearsing favourites out of this collection and see where we go. Unfortunately, rehearsing every second week it will be extremely difficult to be ready if a performance becomes possible; choirs tend to suffer a fair amount of musical amnesia from one week to the next, this will be only more true at two-week intervals. I trust the Board is prepared to revisit that decision as the pandemic situation improves: as COVID restrictions have continued to relax, most other choirs are now already rehearsing every week.
Stay as safe and happy as you can! If you haven’t been for a while visit the Georgetown Choral Society website, Facebook Page and YouTube Channel – where you can subscribe to stay connected.
I’m looking forward to seeing many of you next week on Monday March 7th, the resumption of our in-person rehearsals at GCRC. We will sing from 7:30-8:30pm, but please arrive early to pick up music, and to be screened. The Board is requiring full (2+ dose) vaccination against COVID-19 for those who rehearse in-person, but it is my hope to livestream the rehearsal so that anyone who cannot or chooses not to be there quite yet can observe.
Take care of yourselves and those around you. Brighter days lie ahead.