Friday, Nov 19, 2021
An innovative recording highlighting Westminster's talented students, alumni and faculty
by Anne Sears
A Scattered Light in Winter, the latest recording by the Westminster Williamson Voices, conducted by James Jordan, has been released on the GIA Choral Works label.
Featuring a mix of poetry set to music and new arrangements of traditional carols, it is a reflective, contemplative recording, perfect for the Advent and Christmas seasons. A Scattered Light in Winter includes performances by two Westminster Choir College faculty members: Assistant Professor of Music Education Sangmi Kang, who played the Korean gayageum, and countertenor and Assistant Professor of Voice Jay Carter.
The recording also features music composed or arranged by Westminster alumni: Gerald Custer ’75, John Frederick Hudson ’13, Thomas LaVoy ’13, Anthony Maglione ’01 and Sam Scheibe ’21, as well as Associate Professor of Sacred Music Steve Pilkington.
Two works are settings of poems written by Dan Gioia, former California poet laureate and chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts: The Burning Ladder by Sarah Rimkus and The Stars Now Rearrange Themselves by Thomas LaVoy '13.
A Scattered Light in Winter was recorded at Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in January 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world — and the choral community — to a halt.
“All of the music on the CD reflects our hope for the future as we climb a crooked ladder leading to, hopefully, a brighter new time for our beloved college, and our lives beyond the pandemic," says Conductor James Jordan. "Our desire is to see a glimmer of light behind what seems at times to be a very closed door. This CD offers music for personal reflection, with the hope that these sounds can provide for each of us 'scattered' new light.”
A Scattered Light in Winter is available from all major digital audio sites, including Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, Amazon and GIA Choral Works.
Photo: Westminster Williamson Voices and James Jordan taking a break during a recording session at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.