Choral music without boundaries
Current lineup

Current lineup

Set list for "Still Haven't Found":

  1. Listen to the Lambs

    This song's lyrics come from two angles. The bridge speaks of God comforting God's people — "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, and carry the young lambs in his bosom." The harrowing refrain isn't so sure: "Listen to the lambs, all a-crying!" Listen to the Lambs is a post-spiritual with a fresh message of doubt and faith.
    Robert Nathaniel Dett was one of the first major black songwriters in North America. He lived and worked all over the United States and Canada, studying at Oberlin and Harvard, and teaching — among other places — at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
  2. Shenandoah

    An old American tune with familiar words. "Oh Shenandoah, I long to see you... away, you rolling river." The song isn't about a river, of course. It's about being lost, separated from the people and places that once gave you grounding, that you can never go back to.
    Marshall Bartholomew was a pioneer of folk music. In the early twentieth century, he collected rural Southern and Appalachian songs and brought them to the northern cities, crossing class and racial barriers and introducing thousands of Americans to our triumphant cultural roots. "Barty" directed the Yale Glee Club from 1921 to 1953.
  3. Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen

    No matter how often you've had to move, leaving a place you've come to call home is painful. Five hundred years ago, a poet and songwriter named Heinrich Isaac wrote this song about having to leave his beautiful town of Innsbruck, Austria — leaving behind a significant other as well. The lyrics don't make it clear if he ever came back.
    Heinrich Isaac, born in 1450, became an accomplished court musician despite having never attended college. Isaac worked in Innsbruck several times in his life, in fact, also spending time in Vienna and Florence. He remains one of the most loved songwriters of the Renaissance.
  4. Barrett's Privateers

    Ever been led on a wild goose chase? Ever felt like empty pursuits have caused you to inadvertently throw your years away? This song is about just that — pursuing grandeur and glory and ending up having to start all over. It happens to everyone.
    Stan Rogers, Canada's best-known folk singer-songwriter, composed this number in the style of a traditional sea chantey. On his album it's sung just like Consort does it: all vocal harmonies, no instruments. Rogers died in an airplane accident in 1983, when he was only thirty-three years old.
  5. O salutaris hostia

    An old church song in Latin, the lyrics to O salutaris hostia translate to: "Oh saving Victim, who opens the doors of heaven, hostility surrounds us. Strengthen us! Bring us aid." We think the desperate, broken character of this music is something we can all relate to.
    O salutaris hostia was composed by Gioachino Rossini, who was best known for the operas he wrote in the early nineteenth century. By age thirty-seven he was one of the world's most celebrated musicians, when he retired suddenly, hardly composing another note until his death nearly forty years later.
  6. The Shower

    Looking inward hurts, but sometimes it helps us look outward. The lyrics to this song say, "Cloud, if as thou dost melt, and with thy train of drops make soft the earth, my eyes could weep o'er my hard heart, that's bound up and asleep." If only tears could wash our hearts like rain washes the world! Can we find it within ourselves to hope for sunshine after rain?
    Edward Elgar was one of the most celebrated composers of England during the twentieth century. He's best known for his "Pomp and Circumstance" march, which we all graduated to, and whose terrific melody is just a hint of his songwriting ability.
  7. What a Wonderful World

    "I see trees of green, red roses too..." If there is any sunshine after the rain, it's hidden in the simple places. Life hands us lemons all the time, but even lemon trees have blossoms. Look for the overwhelming beauty around us. There's enough, and more, to give us reason to keep looking until we find our way.
    This song is best known for its recording by Louis Armstrong, but what about the guys who actually wrote it? Giants in their own fields, Bob Thiele produced jazz records, and George David Weiss was a songwriter. Wonderful World was a collaboration between them; Louis Armstrong wasn't their first pick to perform it, but we're forever lucky he got the gig.
  8. My Spirit Sang All Day

    It's easy to forget, but everybody gets lost sometimes. We're all in the same boat. When you need a hand, turn to the people you love — nothing matches the gratitude of finding each other. "And I replied, 'Oh see, oh, my joy, 'tis thee,' I cried, ''tis thee — thou art my joy!'"
    Gerald Finzi lost his three older brothers in World War I, yet wrote some of the most touching and popular choir music in the English language — emerging from loss to help countless others be found. Finzi lived in the English countryside, where he collected rare books and rescued dying apple species from extinction. He died in 1956.
Copyright © 2013 Abraham Wayman.