Where You Begin Like Rivers

Price: $3.00 per copy

Where You Begin Like Rivers

SATB chorus/piano.

Text: John V. Hicks

Duration: 4 minutes 20 seconds

Premiere: May, 2010, Churchville-Chili Senior High School Concert Choir, Churchville, New York, Steve Cortese, conductor

When my high school alma mater decided to build a new auditorium, they asked me to compose a work to celebrate the past achievements of their outstanding music department. This was no small feat seeing that we have had numerous professional musicians and music teachers who graduated from school (including the renown opera singer Renee Fleming), so I was more than glad to accept. I chose the Hicks poem, because it metaphorically captured our musical and lifetime experiences from our time at Churchville to our current lives.

The work opens slow and softly, “Where you begin like rivers I hear a sweet singing. The little stones have voices, I and the flood tide are one.” At the “floodtide,” the piece breaks into an exuberant-jazzy section depicting the scattering of each individual into their life journey, “we are flying horses that leap and thunder and are thrown over a brink and far out, far down….”. Some of this music sounds a little like rock and roll from the 1970’s –- couldn’t help myself with all of the reminiscing! The ending hearkens back to the slow opening section as we once again celebrate our childhood school and community. “I hear again the rock voices, the sweet singing, where you begin like rivers.”