Joshua Fishbein: No union is more profound

Publisher | a cappella,choral music,composers,family,gay & lesbian,love,men's,women's,YRM | Saturday, October 17th, 2015

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Do you remember when you first heard about the Supreme Court’s landmark, history-making ruling this past June in the case Obergefell v. Hodges which granted same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide?

New YRM writer Joshua Fishbein had just moved back to the Washington, D.C. area from Nevada. He was driving in his car, listening to NPR, and was ecstatic when he heard the news! In particular Joshua was struck by Justice Anthony Kennedy‘s majority opinion, the penultimate paragraph of which was shared in the NPR report.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” ~Justice Anthony Kennedy

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Joshua found this paragraph to be “poetically written, moving and naturally well-suited to music. Kennedy knew he was making history when he wrote those lines.” He felt so inspired by these words that he did set them to music, and YRM is fortunate and proud to be able to present this new publication to our customers!

No union is more profound for solo and TBB or SSA a cappella (click on each voicing to view a partial score PDF).

After the chorus sings the opening two lines (which express an universal message about marriage), the soloist enters in recitative style, representing the voice of Justice Kennedy, while the rest of the ensemble acts more as a backup choir. Joshua explains,

“In this way the setting was influenced by my background in Jewish liturgical music, where the choral parts, subservient to the melody sung by the cantor, often exist for harmonic support and to echo the cantor.”

This piece is written in a contrapuntal style with certain words and phrases repeated in order to emphasize them. He chose to leave out the final short paragraph “The judgment… is reversed. It is so ordered.” And rather than end the piece with “The Constitution grants them that right,” the first line is repeated as a musical bookend.

Joshua hopes that the audience who hears this work will be impacted by the monumental change embodied by Justice Kennedy’s words.

“I want them to hear the universal love represented by marriage, as well as the gravitas of these cases, in which both men and women were deprived of the fulfillment of marriage and equal dignity in the eyes of the law. At the same time, I also want the audience to hear optimism in the circumstances surrounding these words.”

Long/Sobrack: Marrying on Christmas Day

Publisher | choral music,christmas (secular),gay & lesbian,humor,men's,YRM | Friday, June 6th, 2014

On the heels of President Barack Obama’s proclamation earlier this week declaring June as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, news comes today that seven couples have officially filed lawsuits against North Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban. This means that the fight for marriage equality has now been brought to EVERY SINGLE STATE in the U.S.A. that doesn’t already acknowledge same-sex marriage rights.

It is remarkable how much progress has been made in the past few years!

The occasion seems appropriate to share a performance of Marrying on Christmas Day by the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus in 2012. Their whimsical and joyful rendition (complete with choreography!) was made at a time when same-sex marriage was illegal in Oregon. Now, not quite two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to halt same-sex weddings in that state. The legal battle isn’t done, but it is clear that marriage equality continues to gain greater and more solid ground.

There is no overtly political tone in Marrying on Christmas Day (Lyrics by John Sobrack/Music by David Frank Long). It is simply taken as a given that a gay couple should be able to marry. After a humorous argument over whether or not Christmas is really the best day for a wedding, the couple realizes that ultimately what truly matters is love.

We’re marrying on Christmas Day.
It’s a dream come true:
Domestic partner wedding rendezvous.
Marrying on Christmas Day.
Side by side our lives have just begun
Where two hearts have become as one.

Partial score (PDF)

Upcoming holiday concerts featuring YRM pieces!!

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The Huntington Men’s Chorus
www.huntingtonmenschorus.com
Thomas W. Jones, Conductor

Date/Time: Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Huntington High School Auditorium, Huntington, NY

Featuring: If Not at Christmas (Music by Scott Henderson, Lyrics by William MacDuff)

Quarryland Men’s Chorus
www.quarryland.org
Barry Magee, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.
Location: First United Church, Bloomington, IN

Featuring: what matters (song by Randi Driscoll, arranged by Kevin Robison)
Enjoy Your Life (Music by Diane Benjamin, Lyrics by Barbara McAffee and D. Benjamin)
The Davey Dinckle Song (Song by Rick Crom, arranged by Steve Milloy)

Special note from Barry Magee: “Using the title of Randi Driscoll’s song as a prompt, I ask the men of the chorus to tell me what matters in their lives. Based on those responses I developed seven themes: music, loving community, enjoying life, holidays, mentoring and learning, faith, and friends. From this I choose two or three songs for each theme. Chorus members will read selections of what they wrote to introduce each theme. It fits the spirit of the holidays but it doesn’t limit use to just doing holiday music. “

Des Moines Diversity Chorus
www.desmoinesdiversitychorus.org
Julie Murphy, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Grace Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA

Date/Time: Monday, December 13, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Wesley Acres Retirement Center, Des Moines, IA

Featuring: Winter Solstice Moon (Music and words by David Frank Long)
A New December (Music and words by David Frank Long)

Special note from Julie Murphy: “The name of our concert is ‘Season of Light.’ Music is drawn from diverse sources using texts that cross religious and ethnic boundaries. As the darkness of winter enfolds us, we sing of light, the symbol of peace, love, faith and joy, in hope that this light will continue to brighten our world.”

New Wave Singers of Baltimore
www.newwavesingers.org
Adam Koch, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Bolton Street Synagogue, Baltimore, MD

Featuring: Christmas Brunch (Music by Dean X. Johnson, Lyrics by Craig Sturgis)
Coming Out on Christmas (Music by Dean X. Johnson, Lyrics by Craig Sturgis)

Special note: The New Wave Singers are celebrating their 25th anniversary year! They were founded in 1985 and continue to thrive and grow.

Aurora Chorus
www.aurorachorus.org
Joan Szymko, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Date/Time: Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
Location: Lincoln Hall Auditorium, PSU campus, Portland, OR
Guest Artist: Claudia Schmidt

Featuring: Coming Out on Christmas (Music by Dean X. Johnson, Lyrics by Craig Sturgis)

UUCC of Washington County Choir
www.uuccwc.org
Allison Wilski, Music Director

Date/Time: Friday, December 24, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Hillsboro, OR

Featuring Elizabeth Norton’s arrangement of All Hayle to the Days

Are you in a chorus that will be performing music published by Yelton Rhodes on an upcoming concert? Please let us know about it (david@yrmusic.com) and we’ll promote your concert on Choralicious as well as on our Facebook page!

The team at YRM is growing!

Publisher | composers,YRM | Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Yelton Rhodes Music is fortunate to welcome two bright, young and talented individuals to our staff!
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NILS PIETER DE MOL VAN OTTERLOO

If you’ve ordered music recently from YRM, you’ve likely already been in touch with Nils. He’s charged with processing music requests and handling customer correspondence. He also helps to keep the office in order, and assists the publisher with special projects.

Nils is originally from Marblehead, Massachusetts and studied music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He also pursued additional music studies at Bates College in Maine and at the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands. As a composer he likes to experiment with various electronic mediums, and has produced a number of ambient/alternative tracks on which he performed as a vocalist, guitarist and bassist. Nils is also a part-time photographer and is always searching for creative techniques and methods for his photographic endeavors.

He claims to have played field hockey in high school… with the girls. We’ll just have to trust him on that. 🙂

Examples of Nils’ music may be heard at http://myspace.com/otterbop.
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DALE TRUMBORE

Dale joins the YRM team as a score editor (specializing in Sibelius digital notation) and will soon be a contributing writer/blogger here at Choralicious.com as well.

She’s a native of Chatham, New Jersey, and just recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue her master’s degree in Music Composition at the University of Southern California. Along with her graduate studies, Dale keeps active composing a variety of concert works covering the spectrum from choral to instrumental. Her string quartet “How it will go” was premiered last fall by the Kronos Quartet, and she’s currently completing a commission for the Orange County Women’s Chorus to be performed this May. In addition to composing, Dale is an accomplished pianist and choral singer (she’s been performing this past year as a soprano in the USC Chamber Singers).

Dale may apparently live and breathe music, but she also holds a black belt in karate!

A sampling of Dale’s compositions may be heard at http://myspace.com/daletrumbore.

Yelton Rhodes Music

Publisher | choral music,composers,YRM | Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Yelton Rhodes Music and Barton Rhodes Press publish lyrical music with a message that promotes inclusiveness and tolerance of the broad spectrum of human nature.

This catalog reflects a wide variety of points of view with respect to religion, sexuality, entertainment, gender, history, death, life, love, and society.

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