Jonathan Santore, composer
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House Song to the East

2nd movement of The Whole World is Coming


Listen to excerpts on the Alliance Music Publications, Inc. catalog website

  • For SATB chorus, a cappella
  • Text from the Navajo tradition
  • Difficulty rating (1-5): 4
  • Published by Alliance Music Publications, Inc.: PDF samples and purchase information)

The Whole World Is Coming was commissioned by the Plymouth State University Chamber Singers for their tour of England. The conductor of the ensemble, Dan Perkins, asked that I write a work that could serve as both a stand-alone concert piece and as incidental music for an educational theatre work on Native American life. I chose to set translated texts from four different Native American peoples. This piece and excerpts from it have been performed extensively by college, high school All-State, and regular high school choirs, and both performers and audiences have responded very positively.

The second movement, House Song to the East, has proven particularly popular, and was published by Alliance Music after a performance by Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare at their National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored American Masterworks festival.

House Song to the East can be performed as a single piece or as part of The Whole World Is Coming cycle.

House Song to the East

Far in the east, far below, there a house was made;
Delightful house.
God of Dawn, there his house was made;
Delightful house.
The Dawn, there his house was made;
Delightful house.
White Corn, there its house was made;
Delightful house.
Soft possessions, for them a house was made;
Delightful house.
Water in plenty, surrounding, for it a house was made;
Delightful house.
Corn pollen, for it a house was made;
Delightful house.
The ancients make their presence delightful;
Delightful house.

Before me, may it be delightful;
Behind me, may it be delightful;
Around me, may it be delightful;
Below me, may it be delightful;
Above me, may it be delightful;
All, may it be delightful.

—Navajo

The poem "House Song to the East" was taken from the anthology The Sky Clears, edited by A. Grove Day, and is used here by permission of its publisher, the University of Nebraska Press.

choir, choral, secular, sacred, unaccompanied, native american, indian, home, happy, energetic, community, music, modern, contemporary, traditional, culture, composition

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Jonathan Santore
Plymouth, NH
info@jonathansantore.com

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