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In the Shadow of Your Wings

Detailed information about “In the Shadow of Your Wings: A Musical Exploration of the Psalms”, the first event of the Deus Ex Musica Composers Project, held in 2019 at Old South Church in Boston.

 
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ABOUT THE EVENT

The first event of the Deus Ex Musica Composers’ Project occurred on June 28, 2019, at Old South Church in Boston.

Part concert, part “musical Bible study”, this unique ecumenical event used live musical performances to bring participants into dialogue with the psalms in memorable and thought-provoking ways.

Nine composers from around the world, each representing a different Christian tradition, created brand-new musical settings of one of three psalms (13, 57, and 148) for mezzo-soprano and piano. The result was a triad of 3-song sets, each of which included three different musical response to each of the psalms.

On June 19, 2019, an ecumenical group of over a hundred Christians from the Boston area gathered at the historic Old South Church to hear these new compositions and to use them as a springboard for discussion. The performance of each set was preceded by a short reflection on the Scripture, presented by Boston-area clergy representing Roman Catholic Evangelical, and Mainline traditions. After hearing the performances, participants gathered into small groups to discuss how these new compositions impacted their understanding and experience of the Scripture.

If you are interested in bringing a version of the event to your congregation or institution, using live or recorded music, please contact Deus Ex Musica founder Delvyn Case.

THE MUSIC

Settings of Psalm 13

"How Long?" by Shawn Okpebholo (begins at 0:13)

"How Long, Yahweh" by Josh Rodriguez (begins at 6:14)

Psalm 13 by Mary Montgomery Koppel (begins at 11:41)

Settings of Psalm 57

"I Will Praise Thee" by Xavier Beteta (begins at 0:10)

Psalm 57 by Delvyn Case (begins at 5:23)

"Awake Up, My Glory" by Sungji Hong (begins at 11:36)

Settings of Psalm 148

Psalm 148: Praise Ye the Lord by Richard J. Clark (begins at 0:15)

"Tehillah" by Haosi Howard Chen (begins at 5:46)

"Praise the Lord" by Tatev Amiryan (begins at 9:35)

 

COMPOSERS

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Tatev Amiryan

Tatev Amiryan is an award-winning composer and pianist and native of Armenia. Her music has been performed in the US, Europe,and Asia by artists suchas the German Chamber Philharmonic of Bremen, CMEA Central Coast Honors Orchestra, Carpe Diem String Quartet, Ensemble Oktoplus, Metropolitan Choral of Kansas City, pianists Jeffrey Jacob, Hayk Melikyan, and thereminist Thorwald Jørgensen. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Komitas State Conservatory in Armenia and a DMA degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  She is a member of the Union of Composers of the Republic of Armenia. Currently she attends St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic church in Oakland.

 
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Xavier Beteta

Born in Guatemala City, Xavier Beteta enjoys a dual career as a composer and pianist, studying composition principally with Rodrigo Asturias. He earned his Ph.D. in composition at the University of California San Diego, studying with Roger Reynolds, Philippe Manoury and Chinary Ung. His works have been performed at Festival Musica in Strasbourg, Darmstadt Summer Courses, June in Buffalo, SICPP in Boston, Opera Theater Festival of Lucca, Italy and by ensembles such as Accroche NoteEnsemble Signal, and UCSD Palimpsest. In 2013 he won 2nd Place at the 4th International  Antonin Dvorak Competition in Prague. He attends Redemption Church in San Diego.

 
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Delvyn Case, Co-Artistic Director

Deus Ex Musica founder Delvyn Case is a composer, conductor, scholar, and educator based in Boston. His music has been performed by over 70 orchestras across the world, as well as by the Borromeo Quartet, Hermitage Trio, New York Virtuoso Singers, and the Grammy-winning Chestnut Brass Company, among others. Recent projects include pieces for Richard Stoltzman and the Canadian Brass. He is the composer of the opera The Prioress’s Tale, which toured New England for three seasons as part of a unique initiative promoting interfaith dialogue. Dr. Case studied at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, and now serves as Associate Professor of Music at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. He is a member of Old South Church in Boston (UCC).

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Haosi Howard Chen

Haosi Howard Chen (b. 1991, Shanghai) graduated from UCLA with a BA in composition studying with Richard Danielpour, David Lefkowitz, Ian Krouse, and Eric Tanguy, as well as in piano with Walter Ponce and Antoinette Perry. He now lives in Germany and is currently studying with Wolfgang Rihm at the University of Music in Karlsruhe, while also working as an organist at his church, Evangelische Kirche Friedrichstal. Sacred works include a setting of Psalm 1 for voice and piano ,“Wer Ohren hat, der höre!” for scordatura string quartet tardemah I (2018) for violoncello solo and SELAH (2019) for guitar trio and contrabass.

 
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Richard J. Clark

Richard J. Clark is the Director of Music of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He previously served for twenty-eight years at St. Cecilia Parish in Boston, as Music Director and Organist. He is also currently Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. His compositions have been performed worldwide. As composer and performer, his eclectic appearances include St. Patrick's Cathedral (NY), Saint-Eustache (Paris), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (D. C.), EWTN, the Celebrity Series of Boston, Fenway Park, and the New York Songwriters Circle at NYC's historic "The Bitter End."

 
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Sungji Hong

Sungji Hong graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London (MMus) and the University of York (PhD). She has received 45 distinctions for her compositions, including the Franz Josef Reinl-Stiftung (1st Prize), the Jesus Villa-Rojo (1st Prize), the Temple Music Composition Prize, ACL Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize, CFAMC scholarship and others. Her music has been released on ECM Records and broadcast in more than 17 countries and 37 channels including BBC Radio 3, SWR 2, DLF, WNYC 2, Radio Boston, and YLE Radio 1. Her music has been performed in over 42 countries and 167 cities throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Since 2018, Hong has been teaching composition at the University of North Texas. She serves as Music Director at her home congregation, Denton Korean Baptist Church.

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Mary Montgomery Koppel

With music described by the Boston Globe as “hypnotic...haunting and hopeful,” Mary Montgomery Koppel is a sought-after composer in a variety of genres. Her music is richly complex, intricate, and refined, while both aurally accessible and challenging. Dr. MK was a founding member and composer-in-residence of the highly-acclaimed Lorelei Ensemble, through whom she contributed eight new works to the repertoire for women’s voices. Her home church is First Church in Wenham (UCC), where she sings and composes for worship regularly. She recently made her Symphony Hall debut with MIT Orchestra’s performance of Kaleidoscope. Dr. MK teaches at Gordon College and Boston University.

 
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Shawn Okpebholo

Shawn E. Okpebholo is a widely sought-after and award-winning composer, recently winning second place in The American Prize Composition Competition (orchestral division). His many commissioned works have been heard on five continents and across the US, including at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He earned his masters and doctoral degrees in composition from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Currently, he is Associate Professor of Music Composition and Theory at Wheaton College-Conservatory of Music (IL). He worships at the Salvation Army in Oakbrook Terrace.

 
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Joshua Rodriguez, Co-Artistic Director

Josh Rodriguez was born in Argentina and spent his childhood in Guatemala and Mexico. He completed a BA in Music through Thomas Edison State College and MM in Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Awarded the prestigious Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles, Rodriguez completed his Ph.D in Composition in 2015. Dr. Rodriguez's music spans various genres including classical concert music, film scores, sacred choral works, and contemporary popular songs. He currently serves at the Collinsworth School of Music at California Baptist University as Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition.

PERFORMERS

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Carrie Cheron

Praised for her "warm tone," and for having “the voice of an angel,” mezzo-soprano Carrie Cheron has performed as a soloist with and as an ensemble member of such groups as Boston Baroque, Handel + Haydn Society, The American Classical Orchestra, Arcadia Players, Newton Baroque, Exsultemus, Yale Choral Artists, and the Grammy-nominated Skylark Vocal Ensemble, among others. A champion of contemporary classical composition, Carrie recently starred as Doctor/Loki in Guerilla Opera's presentation of Per Bloland's opera Pedr Solis. Later this season, she will join New Gallery Concert Series in Boston, for the world premiere of a piece by composer Marti Epstein, written specifically for Carrie's voice. In May of this season, Carrie will make her Spivey Hall (Morrow, GA) debut as the alto soloist in Rachmaninoff's All-night Vigil, Opus 37, with Skylark Ensemble.

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Ann Fogler

Praised for having a “flexible, very warm, and crystalline” instrument, Ann Fogler, mezzo-soprano, is a sought-after performer based out of Boston, MA. Ms. Fogler participated as a young artist in the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation program at Central City Opera for the past two summers, where she performed the role of Announcer (Gallantry) in 2017, and in 2018 was featured as a soloist in Encore: A Musical Revue. Her most notable recent performance was as the Brother in the 2019 Boston premiere of The Scarlet Ibis with Boston Opera Collaborative, where Ms. Fogler “strongly [captured] Brother’s overflowing energy.” Upcoming performances include Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) with MassOpera, and Lepido (Silla) with The Cambridge Chamber Ensemble.”

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Megan Roth

Mezzo-soprano Megan Roth enjoys a varied career performing opera, oratorio, art song, and chamber music. Recently she performed the role of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Summer Garden Opera, Meg in Adamo’s Little Women with MASSOpera, and Handel’s Messiah with Rhode Island Civic Chorale. As an ensemble artist, she performs regularly with renowned national ensembles including Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Conspirare, True Concord, and Yale Choral Artists. Megan is also the artistic director of Calliope’s Call, a non-profit art song performance group in Boston. Upcoming engagements include Tisbe in La Cenerentola with Boston Midsummer Opera. Megan belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a portion of their concert fee to organizations they care about.

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Julia Scott Carey

Julia Scott Carey is the Minister of Music at the Central Square Congregational Church in Bridgewater. As a choral accompanist, she plays for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir, as well as the Metropolitan Chorale, the Boston College University Chorale, and many other choruses around Boston. She is the pianist for Juventas New Music Ensemble. As a composer, her works have been performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, and she was the youngest composer ever published by the Theodore Presser Company. She has degrees from Harvard University, New England Conservatory, and Boston University.

GUEST CLERGY

Michael Balboni, Interim Associate Minister, Park Street Church. Harvard Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality

Rev. June Cooper, Theologian-in-the-City, Old South Church. Executive Director, City Mission Boston

Prof. Barbara Darling-Smith, Asst. Professor of Religion, Wheaton College Massachusetts

Rev. Pablo Gomis, Parochial Vicar, Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston

Aric Fleming, Memorial Church, Harvard University

Rev. Eric Litman, St. Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church, Quincy

Rev. Jonathan Malone, First Baptist Church of East Greenwich, Rhode Island