Saturday, March 18, 7:30 p.m., Church of the Holy Communion, Episcopal,
4645 Walnut Grove
Sunday, March 19, 3 p.m., St. Peter Catholic Church,
190 Adams Avenue at Third, Memphis
The Wolf Rivers Singer concerts are well known, not for a concert set list of familiar tunes, but instead for using music to explore the world around us, the issues we face and the history we share.
The March 18-19 concerts are no different. Director Ben Legett continues to follow the “Finding Our Way” theme, which began with the March 2016 concert, but this time he leads the singers through the subject of “Staying Connected.” His music selection examines the things and the people with whom we are connected and how we relate to them.
Helping guide the audience through these connections as emcee and narrator for the program is Kacky Walton, well-known classical music host for WKNO-FM.
The Here and Now
“Song of Gratitude” reminds us to be thankful for and to honor the gifts we have been given. In the name of the spirit of love, always and everywhere, we bow down, we bow down. Namaste.
“Therefore, Music” is subtitled, “A Litany of gratitude for music and the procession of life.” But the Here and Now can’t always be a pleasant experience. “Great God Almighty” is a spiritual that painfully details the beating of a slave.
Connecting Through Love
There are many ways to connect with people we love, as many ways as there are people. Pablo Neruda’s text “Tu sangre en la mia”, set to music by Shawn Kirchner, describes the love between a man and a woman and the simple life they share. “”Tsunangari” is one of two selections on the concert by Kentaro Sato. It means, “Connection.” Need we say more?
Gone but Still Connected
Sometimes we are connected to something that’s missing, something we long for. “I Hunger and Thirst” is a Shaker tune arranged by Kevin Siegfried. “A Cry for Freedom” is a wordless composition by Gustavo Dudamel. “Mae-e” is the second piece by Sato, dedicated to the victims of the 2013 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Connecting to the Future
We often look past the Here and Now and look toward those connections we hope to have in the future. Three spirituals attempt to help us do that: “In That Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’,” Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and “Woke Up This Morning.”
Connecting to You
Finally, as performers, the Wolf River Singers never fail to establish a connection with the audience and the final two songs do that perfectly: “The Gift I’ll Leave You” and “Connected.”