July 1st, 2020 – Every concert has been cancelled. The COVID-19 Pandemic has rocked the economy and profoundly impacted every facet of education and the arts. Riots and civil unrest are prevalent across the country in response to the tragic killing of George Floyd. While this music was written to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we felt that its message rings true still today. This video is taken from a live performance given Nov. 12th, 2016 at American Heritage School in American Fork (https://american-heritage.org/orchestra/). This particular song is taken from a staged oratorio written by Rob Moffat and orchestrated by Rob Gardner entitled One Nation. This song is the prayer of a freed Civil War slave, Alexander, played by Broadway veteran Rodrick Covington. It was a thrill to work with Rodrick. He was recommended to us by the composer and was working in NYC on Broadway as part of the TONY-Award winning cast of Once Upon This Island. He flew to Utah where we are located, and with just one rehearsal with the students, he delivered a powerful performance that will stay with our students long after the curtain closed. During the same week we recorded the studio version of this song available on our Simple Gifts album.
Patriotism is a tricky thing with today’s youth. With so much vitriol on both sides, creating in the hearts of youth a true love of country or an appreciation for the sacrifices that came before often seems paradoxical. One of the goals of our performing group is to write on the hearts of these youth a greater love of country and a deeper appreciation for the sacrifice of those who have gone before. Amid so much racial strife, this message of recognizing inequality and addressing it through our music is a rare and transformational teaching tool.
If you enjoy this video also see Make Us As One also by Rodrick from the same performance of One Nation. Also check our Events page for upcoming performances of One Nation.