For SSATB choir + string orchestra
Commissioned by: South Bend Chamber Singers, Nancy Menk, cond.
Premiere: 12.20.2015, Chapel of Our Lady of Loretto, South Bend, IN
Listen to an excerpt of Ave Maria No. 10 – Virgo Serena from rehearsal by the South Bend Chamber Singers below:
Program Notes: AVE MARIA NO. 10 – VIRGO SERENA is the 10th of my annual Ave Marias comprising part of my Ave Maria Project, a 50-year project that began with my first officially notated composition in 2005, Ave Maria No. 1 – Mater Amabilis for voice, cello, and piano. Following the first, I continue to set one Ave each year until the project’s finish in 2054. So far, these Aves have been set in Latin, Polish, and French. This is somewhat of a musical journal tracking my compositional growth and evolution over the years and every tenth Ave is to be a bit more substantial than the others. In this 10th Ave, I set a rare text: Ave Maria Virgo Serena, used by composer Josquin des Prez in what is considered his earliest dateable composition. The importance of the number 10 emerges in a variety of ways: 10-stave notation, 10-minute duration, and several instances of rhythmic/melodic groupings of 10 appear throughout the piece. The number 7 is also important in various ways, especially through repetition of the name “Maria”. This composition is an opportunity to give thanks for 10 years of composing.