“The concert’s featured work was the premiere of Dorothy Hindman’s Sursum Corda, named for the choir. Set to a Ralph Waldo Emerson text, Hindman wrote to the choir’s strengths with its reflective beauty and suave harmonies. Like most of the music on the concert, it tested the choir’s adaptability to new scores while playing to its strengths.”
~Michael Huebner, “Sursum Corda singers hit new mark for strength, individuality,” The Birmingham News, April 15, 2009
Sursum Corda was written for the a cappella choir of the same name in the summer of 2008. It is a celebration of Emerson’s classic transcendentalist themes: God as manifested in nature, and Man as a part of that nature and thus a part of God.
Premiere: April 14, 2009
Lester Seigel, conducting
Birmingham Art Music Alliance concert
Brock Recital Hall, Samford University, Birmingham, AL
Commissioner: Sursum Corda
Seek not the Spirit, if it hide,
Inexorable to thy zeal:
Baby, do not whine and chide;
Art thou not also real?
Why should’st thou stoop to poor excuse?
Turn on the Accuser roundly; say,
“Here am I, here will I remain
Forever to myself soothfast,
Go thou, sweet Heaven, or, at thy pleasure stay.”—
Already Heaven with thee its lot has cast,
For it only can absolutely deal.