My Ave Verum Corpus for choir and string orchestra was commissioned by Wheaton College to inaugurate its new Armerding Center for Music and the Arts, named for Hudson Armerding who served as the fifth president of Wheaton College from 1965 to 1982 and his wife, Miriam, who received a music degree from Wheaton.
I wish to express my appreciation especially to Dr. Michael Wilder, Dean of the Wheaton Conservatory of Music, Arts, and Communication, for bringing this commission about and to Wheaton College President Ryken, Vice-President Farney and Professors Payne, Blackstone, Hopper and Trotter of the Conservatory, as well as donors to this special project.
The newly composed antiphon should be performed as one would a traditional Gregorian chant. The set of finger cymbals should be played by a member of the bass section who will hold one in each hand and strike the two together on the edge. Use only high-quality cymbals, not the tinny, cheap ones found on the internet used mainly by belly dancers. I recommend those manufactured by Toca or Zildjian.
I prefer this work to be accompanied by a full string orchestra, as recorded by the Wheaton College choir and orchestra conducted by John Trotter. If a string orchestra is not possible, it may be performed with organ, registration ad libitum (or, finally, with piano if an organ is not available).
Organists will use the piano accompaniment as a template and are free to use their own registrations throughout (a more subdued, intimate registration should be employed at rehearsal D and full organ at rehearsal F plus the ending).
In contrast to many of my works that end quietly, this setting of the Ave Verum Corpus concludes with a joyful and exuberant Alleluia in keeping with this highly celebratory occasion.
© Morten Lauridsen