#94 America’s Sacred, Simple Gifts

Get in touch with your spiritual side as we explore three works by American composers influenced by different forms of the sacred. Copland’s Appalachian Spring takes a traditional Shaker hymn, “Simple Gifts,” and paints majestic strokes to evoke a traditional simplicity of American rural life.

Theofanidis was inspired to compose Lighting, with Life… by several anonymous American Indian poems with a common thread of a supernatural sense of nature, and he was deeply influenced by September 11th occurred as he was writing the piece. We are excited for Music Director Jacob Sustaita to take a break from the podium to perform as the featured viola soloist for this piece.

Finally, Still’s Afro-American Symphony combines the symphonic form with blues progressions and rhythms as well as with African American spirituals.

Conducted by Douglas Diamond

Works Performed

  • Theofanidis, Christopher, Lightning with Life, in Four Colors Comes Down with soloist Jacob Sustaita, viola
  • Still, William Grant, Symphony #3 “Afro-American”
  • Copland, Aaron, Appalachian Spring

Dates Performed

  • March 8, 2014