Category:   COMMUNITY CHOIRS
Composer:   Lee Johnson
Arranger:   NA
Publisher:   Americus Art Music
Edition:   NA
Voicing:   SATB
Setting:   Unknown

Reviewer:   

Dennis Marzolf
Minnesota Valley Chorale, Mankato 1993
R&R Chair Community Choirs

Three motets were commissioned by the Minnesota Valley Chorale in celebration of their 15th anniversary. Each motet stands independently, although their performance as a group is highly recommended. The first and third of the motets are based on religious native American texts: I. We know on Whom life is dependent; on Whom the perpetuation of the race depends; by whom begetting is determined; by Whom growth is made possible; how it is that one must invoke, how it is that one must pray. II. I am opening my heart to speak to you. Open yours to receive my words. I have buried the hatchet forever, so must your children. The third motet is based on a collect that was composed for the Quincentenary observance of the voyages of Colombus. It is also a religious text, although it reflects the perspective of Christianity. The motets are written in a twentieth century mode, and they are highly approachable. The composer was instructed to write in a manner that would be accessible to a good high school choir, and he has been an obedient servant to those demands. At their first reading the motets received a favorable response by the members of the Minnesota Valley Chorale. I trust that they will experience a similar response by other singers.