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Download an an MP3 file of this work (brass and organ version) performed by the Harvard University Choir and Cambridge Symphonic Brass, Edward Elwyn Jones, conductor.
Download an an MP3 file of this work (brass and piano version) performed by the Assembled Chorus of the "Celebration of the Music Makers" Festival and the Heritage Brass Quintet, Piero Buonomico, conductor.
(Photograph of Chandler Hall, Randolph, Vermont.)
Composed for the Chandler Cultural Foundation in celebration of the Centennial of Chandler Music Hall, Randolph, Vermont: 1907-2007
Every Life Shall Be a Song is a celebration of life, unity, and music -- a setting of a text by the 19th century British author John Addington Symonds (1840-1893).
This work was written in celebration of an important anniversary in the composer's home community of Randolph, Vermont. The Victorian-style Chandler Music Hall was originally built in 1907, in the midst of the heyday of such cultural building projects. By the end of the 1920's, however, the hall had fallen into disrepair and was no longer in use. In 1978, The Albert B. Chandler Cultural Foundation was formed to renovate the hall and turn it into a thriving arts and performance center for Vermont. It has remained as such to the present day, serving each year as the home for a variety of cultural events -- with a particular focus on classical music. Many of Gwyneth Walker's compositions have been performed in Chandler Music Hall over the years.
The text of the work summarizes the artistic message and goals of the Chandler Cultural Foundation stating that "New arts shall bloom of loftier mold, and mightier music fill the skies, and every life shall be a song. ... When every life shall be a song, then all the earth is paradise."
Notes by Carson Cooman