Complex choral tribute to King to debut at Goucher

April 12, 1991|By Ernest F.Imhoff | Ernest F.Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff

ONCE: In Memoriam Martin Luther King Jr.," the first major choral and instrumental work created after King's assassination in 1968, will receive its Baltimore premiere at 8 p.m. Saturday as one of two major offerings by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society.

Thomas Beveridge, music director of the 150-voice McLean (Va.) Choral Society and two other Washington-area choruses, composed the complex "Once" using gospel music, spirituals,

contemporary musical themes and neo-romantic melodies.

Julian Bond, civil rights activist, will narrate, and opera soprano Theresa Hamm will solo in the work scored also for chorus, brass, organ and percussion. Texts by the late Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, the Prayerbook of Jewish Worship and the Catholic requiem mass were used.

Tom Hall will direct the piece at Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College. The title of the work comes from the James Russell Lowe words:

"Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side."

The chorus of the Baltimore School for the Arts led by Nathan Carter and Margaret Lindsay Johnson makes its society debut. The other major piece planned is the English composer John Rutter's jazz setting of the "Gloria."

A composer of 400 works, Beveridge, 53, was for 20 years -- until 1981 -- the bass soloist and staff arranger/composer of the U.S. Army Band and Chorus in Washington.

"Once" was published in 1970.

Concert tickets are $7, $17 and $20. For more information, call C 523-7070.

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