Lo Yisa Goy
University of Utah Philharmonia
Robert Baldwin, conductor
Jacob Davis, viola
2007; arrangement by composer for string orchestra available in fall 2020
Chicago a cappella
Theodore Presser Company
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The composer has made arrangements for mixed choir and saxophone choir.
I took on a few projects during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic for musicians and ensembles that were seeking collaborations during the long months of isolation. The first of these projects was the transcribing of my choral work Lo Yisa Goy for instruments. In April, saxophonist Paul Nolen asked if I might have something that his Illinois State University students could learn and individually record their parts; he would then mix the tracks together and share online. Then, over the summer, conductor Robert Baldwin asked if I might have anything suitable for the string section of the University of Utah Philharmonia, one of the few large groups that can safely gather together if performers are carefully spaced out. Once I had transcribed the piece for saxophone ensemble, I found the music made a compelling string orchestra version as well.
The text of Lo Yisa Goy is the Jewish prayer for peace:
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks:
nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
But they shall sit every man under his vine
and under his fig tree;
and none shall make them afraid:
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.