A new musical setting by Ada composers Victoria Davison and Rudy Lupinski of a 9th century text used mainly in Catholic Holy Thursday services will be premiered Monday [APRIL 21] by the East Central University Chorale.
"Ubi Caritas Et Amor," which means "where charity and love are, God is there," will be performed in a concert of the University Chorale, University Chorus and ECU's Woodwind Ensembles at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Dr. Steve Walker, ECU professor of music, also will conduct the Chorale in another version of the ancient chant, Douglas Helvering's "Ubi Caritas."
"Steve Walker loves pieces based on Latin chants. He loves to do two or three together in a concert. That kind of resonated with me," Davison recalled. "I thought, 'How wonderful that would be,' and all of a sudden I started getting a melody."
"I sang it into the Dictaphone and went ahead and sketched out a melody because I was afraid I might forget it. I'm so grateful I did that," she said.
It is Davison's and Lupinski's first a cappella piece.
Lupinski, an adjunct instructor of music at ECU, has helped edit or write accompaniment for Davison's music for several years, but this is the first time he has contributed his own sections to the music.
"She had most all of it written," Lupinski said. "I made a lot of changes. I would add something here or a whole basic section, then see if she liked it. If she didn’t like it, she would fight for what she put in it. It was the first time we've done something like this together."
"We really are co-composers now," Davison said. "Well, a trio, if you count God."
Davison credits God for giving her melodies - she now has 1,200 recorded on a Dictaphone, from remnants to full-blown pieces, in addition to her completed works.
"We worked on this literally measure by measure from the beginning," Davison said. "We would work four or five hours without a break."
"It’s not our typical stuff," she added. "It's the most difficult and complex thing we have done. There are four parts doing so many things all at the same time.
"I’m very proud of this. It's our masterpiece so far. I'm also proud of the ECU Chorale. It's a very difficult and complicated and they were able to pull it off in a short time."
Walker described the caritas as a "tapestry of voices" and said the Ada composers have reached a new level in their writing.
"It’s a very long, complex piece," he said, "very interwoven and complicated. It's on a different level in terms of complexity and compositional technique."
When Lupinski began writing accompaniments for Davison in 2005, he said he wrote to complement her music and tried not to change anything unless he found something "glaring." Then he began speaking up a little more.
"He once spent 15 to 20 minutes explaining why he changed one note," Davison said with a smile. "Now, I just never know what he's going to do."
She gives him her melodies, voicing, instrumentation and accompaniment to give him an idea of how she would approach the music if she were doing it.
"I bring him in and he really transforms it," she said. "I have total freedom because I know if there's anything wrong, he will catch it. I turn it over to him and let him loose with it. He has total freedom and it works. I can't wait to see how he's transformed it."
Davison said she and Lupinksi, who now sing in the Chorale, are slowly working toward composing a requiem which will include several of her completed pieces.
The Chorale also will perform another original work, "Actus Caritatis," by former ECU student Jason Oss, as well as "Woodpecker" by Stephen Chatman, "I Thank You, God" by Rene Clausen and "Chantez" by Jules Massenet.
The University Chorus will perform "Dido and Æneas" by Henry Purcell, "Die mit Tranen saen" by Johan Schein and "Selah" by Dan Forrest.
The Woodwind Ensembles, which will accompany the Chorale and Chorus on an upcoming tour of Tulsa-area schools, will perform Arcangelo Correli's "Sonata di Chiesa Op. 1, no. 2," featuring Josh Cotts, soprano saxophone; Kevin Wilkins, alto saxophone; and Dr. Mark Hollingsworth, tenor saxophone.
Also on their program is "Rondo for Three Clarinets" by Mozart, featuring Nathaniel Sheeley, Jessica Townsend and Hollingworth; "Sonata No. 38" from "Hora Decima" by Johann Pezel; and "Allegro Rocco" by Paul Koepke, featuring clarinetists Jessica Townsend, Rocky Bullard, Samantha Hurt, Samantha Tyler and Nathaniel Sheeley.
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