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Year 1 – The Wolf River Singers Choral Commissioning Project

Composer: Ben J. Legett, “Visions of Heaven: A Shaker Tryptych” , Performed: March 2006

The Shakers considered music to be a gift and made it a central focus of their religion. The Shakers’ ideals of faith, simplicity and love shines throughout their music - and this rich heritage of simple, beautiful music is truly a gift from the Shakers to the rest of the world.

It was this music that inspired composer Ben J. Legett’s “Visions of Heaven: A Shaker Tryptych.” His arrangement will be the first original work to be accepted in The Wolf River Singers’ Choral Commissioning project and was performed by the singers under Legett’s direction at a March 2007 concert.

Shaker furniture was designed with clean, economic lines and the skill and craftsmanship is evident in everything they made – the same is true for Shaker music and its beauty is in its simplicity. Legett captured this outward expression of simplicity and love in “Visions of Heaven: A Shaker Tryptych” and The Wolf River Singers are honored to be the first choral group to publicly perform it.

Legett has directed The Wolf River Singers since it was founded in the early 1990s and he brings more than 25 years professional experience in choral music. In addition to his work in musical theater, churches and schools, Ben is a voice teacher and a published composer and arranger. He holds degrees in music from Rhodes College and from the University of Memphis.

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