Sure on This Shining Night

Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham
Rodney Wynkoop, conductor
Sunday, June 10, 2018
5 pm
Duke Chapel
Tickets: $10, available at Duke Box Office or at the door

VAE’s 23rd annual summer concert features gorgeous choral music that moves gradually from dusk, through darkness, to dawn. The moon and stars are portrayed in their luminous beauty, evoking wonder and a sense of the infinite. The night brings rest and sleep and dreams.

Poetry by Sara Teasdale is sensitively set to music by Dale Warland and Eriks Ešenvalds, the latter with the added accompaniment of tuned water glasses. James Agee’s poem “Sure on This Shining Night” is heard in Morten Lauridsen’s rich harmonic language, and an excerpt from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is heard in a playful setting by Carrie Mallonee. Words by Dryden, O’Shaughnessy, and even a Sanskrit text from 1200 BC are also heard in sensitive, expressive musical settings.

Many of the pieces in this concert—ones by Clausen, Stroope, Gjeilo, Grieg, Elder, and others–are full of color and atmosphere and mystery. By contrast, Eric Whitacre’s “Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine” provides an extended, virtuosic look at da Vinci’s imagination and motivation in creating his famous flying machine, and imagines, through a panoply of vocal sounds, da Vinci’s vision of how this first flight might feel.

We invite you to come and hear all of this beautiful music!

Concert repertoire:
René Clausen  – Tonight eternity alone
Hugo Alfvén, arr. – Glimmering Moonlight
Dale Warland – There will be rest
Z. Randall Stroope – Noche serena
Daniel Elder – Ballade to the Moon (Nocturne)
Eric Nelson – We are the music makers
Eric Whitacre  – Leonardo dreams of his flying machine
Edward Grieg  – Ave maris stella
Morten Lauridsen – Sure on this shining night (fr. Nocturnes)
Eriks Ešenvalds  – Stars
Caroline Mallonee  – Look, love (fr. Songs of the Earth and Heavens)
Ola Gjeilo  – The Spheres (fr. Sunrise Mass)
Homer Keller  – Salutation of the Dawn
Carol Barnett  – Musica, Dei donum optimi

with David Heid (piano) and Philip Snyder (flute)
Rodney Wynkoop, conductor

“VAE is made up of some of the finest voices in the Triangle. They are chosen by Wynkoop based on ability, musicality, and the best possible blend of vocal qualities. His rehearsals are always focused and disciplined, a great pleasure, and often fun. Concerts of superior choral quality such as what was experienced in Duke Chapel this evening are the consequence of all of this. How fortunate we are!– Ken Hoover, CVNC

CHRISTMAS CD – *Just Released!!*
VAE is very pleased to announce the release of a brand-new CD of Christmas music recorded in our earlier concerts at Duke Chapel entitled “O Holy Night”.

Order tracks online at CD Baby →


Interior of Duke University Chapel

The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham was founded in 1996 by Rodney Wynkoop to provide superior choral performance opportunities for outstanding singers in North Carolina’s Triangle region (Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh). Its 32 members are selected mainly from among musicians who have sung in other choral groups under Dr. Wynkoop’s direction. VAE’s mostly a cappella repertoire ranges from the Renaissance to the present.

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