Chancel Choir of St. Luke’s will be featured
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (St. Luke’s UMC) welcomes back award-winning, world-renowned British composer Howard Goodall as he conducts the world premiere of his new choral work Unconditional Love on Sunday, Nov. 14. This special piece was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic and additionally focuses on the theme of Thanksgiving. St. Luke’s Chancel Choir presents the world premiere as its first post-pandemic ‘recovery’ project.
In November 2020, Sid Davis, St. Luke’s Director of Music and Fine Arts, contacted long-time friend Goodall to see if he might consider a commission to address the new, strange and difficult world in which we all found ourselves. Unconditional Love is at its heart a work of gratitude, of memorial and of hope for a world rebuilt. It gives thanks to all those whose sacrifice and selflessness has been so powerful and so moving a feature of the COVID-19 crisis.
Unconditional Love is scored for soprano solo, SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), piano, organ and brass ensemble. Goodall had the soprano for this choral work already in mind when he composed it – Grace Roman, who is also Associate Director of Music and Fine Arts at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. She will sing all solo parts in Unconditional Love.
This is the third world premiere for Goodall at St. Luke’s. Invictus: A Passion received its world premiere at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church on Mar. 25, 2018, while his Christmas Cantata debuted on Dec. 15, 2019. With the new work, the holidays of Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving will all have been honored by Goodall and St. Luke’s through inspiring and uplifting music. In addition, St. Luke’s gave the US premiere of Goodall’s Eternal Light.
Unconditional Love is made possible by the generosity of St. Luke’s Friends of Music.
WHO: Howard Goodall is one of Britain’s best-known composers of choral music, stage musicals, TV and film scores and a distinguished music historian and broadcaster. His choral music has been commissioned to mark many national ceremonies and memorials; his settings of Psalm 23 and Love Divine are among the most performed of all sacred music, featured on several platinum-selling CDs. Eternal Light: A Requiem has had more than 550 live performances throughout the world since its première in 2008 and won him a Classical BRIT Award for Composer of the Year.
Sid Davis, a close friend of Goodall’s, began the process of commissioning Unconditional Love in November of last year. Davis is a highly respected choral music professional, having led at St. Luke’s for more than 25 years now, along with serving as Director of Music at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston for 10 years and First United Methodist Church in Garland, Tex.
St. Luke’s Friends of Music is a group of individuals who help make beautiful music happen weekly at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Their financial support allows St. Luke’s to also bring in outstanding world-class experiences, including the latest work by Howard Goodall. Other programs supported by Friends of Music include orchestras for the Christmas Festival; brass for Easter services; solo instrumentalists throughout the year; bringing world-class ensembles to St. Luke’s such as VOCES8 and Conspirare; and special vocal soloists such as Ken Medema, Cynthia Wilson and Nate Lucena.
WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Rd, Houston, 77027; In the Main Sanctuary
COST: Free and open to the public
Check out the website at www.stlukesmethodist.org.