Christmas at America’s First Cathedral features six original songs for chorus by renown choral composer Rosephanye Powell, including an a cappella spiritual “Have You Seen the Baby Jesus” performed by exhilarating soprano Janice Chandler Eteme. All songs are performed by the Baltimore Choral Arts Chorus & Orchestra. Tom Hall, conductor; Jim Kessler, orchestrator. Free bonus DVD included!
In addition to familiar seasonal music by Mendelssohn, Handel, Rutter, and others, Christmas at America’s First Cathedral features music from South Africa, Canada, and the United States, including the premiere recordings of seven new works by two of America’s most important African American composers, Dr. Rosephanye Powell and Dr. James Lee III. Dr. Lee’s motet, “A Clean Heart” is from a collection of four motets composed in 2009. The six selections by Dr. Powell comprise a suite called, Christmas Give, commissioned by Baltimore Choral Arts and given its world premiere December 1, 2009 at the Baltimore Basilica.
The bonus DVD includes selections from that concert, including Dr. Powell reading two poems and interviews with Tom Hall about the program and its historic venue. Recorded in the resonant acoustics of America’s first Cathedral, the Baltimore Basilica.
1. Rise Up! Arise! — Felix Mendelssohn (3:33)
2. Gabriel’s Message — Eleanor Daley (1:51)
3. Come Colours Rise — Grant McLachlan (4:46)
4. I Saw Three Ships — arr. Robert Shaw & Alice Parker (1:45)
5. Christmas Memories* — Rosephanye Powell (3:49)
6. Precious Gift His Wondrous Birth — Dave Brubeck (1:56)
7. Ring the Bells* — Rosephanye Powell (2:40)
8. A Clean Heart* — James Lee III (5:06)
9. Christus Natus Est*— Rosephanye Powell (5:10)
10. Hallelujah, Amen — G. F. Handel (2:49)
11. Have You Seen the Baby Jesus?* — Rosephanye Powell (2:46) New Octavo 2011! Gentry Publications
12. The Flight into Egypt — Hector Berlioz (5:46)
13. Jesus Child — John Rutter (3:30)
14. Holy Night* — Rosephanye Powell (2:38)
15. Ogo ni fun Oluwa*— Rosephanye Powell (2:47) New Octavo 2011! Hal Leonard 08703401
16. Mary’s Lullaby — Rutter (3:13)
17. Hallelujah Chorus — Handel (4:05)
*World Premiere Recording
Available for purchase at:
SATB, a cappella, Christmas spiritual. “Rosephanye Powell has become one of the most innovative and popular choral writers in America. She salutes her African-American heritage in the arrangement of this popular Christmas Spiritual. Abounding with her classic energy this setting is sure to be a favorite.”–Fred Bock Music
TTBB, a cappella, Christmas spiritual. This arrangement has been so popular that an arrangement for men’s voice has been added.
Arranged for men’s voices by William C. Powell.