James Stevens, a graduating senior at Webster University, sang the premiere this week of my settings of some of Brian Andreas’ ‘Storypeople’ texts.
Jimmy and Nancy Mayo, his collaborative pianist, presented the songs wonderfully . . . with humanity and warmth . . . no small amount of humor . . . and with great care. I’m delighted to share them here, with Jimmy’s permission.
Here’s a portion of Jimmy’s program notes for these songs:
Storypeople Songs Jeffrey Richard Carter (b. 1961)
Jeffrey Richard Carter is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. Carter received his Master of Musical Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Central Missouri and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Kansas. Equally at home teaching, conducting, or composing, Carter’s composition credits include an Opus Award from the Missouri Choral Directors Association for his 1995 anthem “Phos hilaron,” a performance of his setting of Thomas Hardy’s “The Oxen” during a nationwide broadcast on CBS, and his “Eight Musical Insults” written in 1995 for another senior recital. Carter currently serves as Chair of the Department of Music at Webster University and as Resident Music Director for New Line Theatre in St. Louis. This set of songs was written especially for this recital.
Brian Andreas is a writer and artist for www.storypeople.com. His website is a combination of his poetry, stories, and various pieces of art he sells. Andreas’ poetry is noted for its short length but complex emotional content.
A yayable moment
YAY! For no reason it seemed like a yayable moment.
Today is a day when I look out over my life and I see you there.
& I know there is more reason in this world than we will ever understand.
“You job is to focus on my personal happiness,” she said.
“& I’ve got big plans, so break time is over.”
Everything to love
We sat at the edge of the world and you asked me to tell you why,
and though a thousand things come to mind underneath them all was a quiet voice saying because you remind me of everything there is in this world to love.
She stood there, head back, Laughing.
And it took his breath away.
& he suddenly remembered
there are more important things
than having to breathe all the time.
For all the thousand things we do in the world,
I love it best when we sit in the sunlight together
smiling quietly with knowing
that here is the perfect place to be.
One child at a time
I hope it will be said we taught them
to stand tall and proud even in the face of history,
& the future was made whole for us all
one child, one child at a time.