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The Hope of Loving

Craig Hella Johnson is the Founding Artistic Director and Conductor of Conspirare and Music Director of Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble. Known for crafting thought-provoking musical journeys that create deep connections between performers and listeners, Johnson is in frequent demand as a guest conductor of choral and orchestral works. Johnson joined the faculty at Texas State as Artist in Residence in fall 2016 and is currently Professor of Practice. He is a published composer and arranger, guest conductor and educator. Johnson’s first concert-length composition Considering Matthew Shepard was premiered and recorded by Conspirare for a 2016 CD release. Johnson’s accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards and honors. Notably among them, he and Conspirare won a 2014 Grammy® for Best Choral Performance, Chorus America awarded him the Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art in 2015, and the Texas State Legislature named him Texas State Musician for 2013. craighellajohnson.com

The Hope of Loving

Recorded January 20–January 22, 2019 at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
January 2019 Concert Program Page

The beautiful, socially conscious choral works of Jake Runestad take center stage in Conspirare’s latest recording. Runestad’s commitment to musically potent and well-crafted compositions aligns with current cultural questions about race, gender, orientation, and psychological challenges related to suicide and gun violence. The album sets texts from authors including Hildegard von Bingen, John Muir, Todd Boss, Rabia, Tagore and Hafiz. Runestad’s choral settings are embraced by listeners of all ages.

“Runestad…has a particular knack for marrying powerful music to texts that speak to some of the most pressing and moving issues of our time.” -Star Tribune



Track List

1. Waves (7:28) Michael Jones, tenor


           2. Reflections (7:14)

           3. The Peace of Wild Things (5:14)

           4. Come to the Woods (11:21)

5. Why the Caged Bird Sings (9:06) Alissa Ruth Suver, soprano 

6. Spirited Light (5:02) Jason Awbrey, bass and Dann Coakwell, tenor 

7. Let My Love Be Heard (5:07)

8. And So I Go On (7:00) Mela Sarajane Dailey, soprano and Wilson Nichols, tenor 


           9. Yield to Love (2:15) Stefanie Moore, soprano 

          10. Wild Forces (2:01)

          11. Wondrous Creatures (00:58) Dann Coakwell, tenor

          12. The Heart’s Veil (3:28)

          13. My Soul is a Candle (4:46) Stefanie Moore, soprano and Simon Barrad, baritone

          14. The Hope of Loving (2:51)

15. Flower into Kindness (from Into the Light) (5:19) Kathlene Ritch, soprano 

Conspirare acknowledges with heartfelt gratitude Patti Troth Black for her visionary support of this recording and her embrace of music’s power to invoke hope and love. Conspirare thanks the following patrons for their support of this recording: South Texas Money Management / Legacy of Sound 2 / Hella Circle / National Endowment for the Arts / Texas Commission on the Arts / City of Austin Economic Development Department, Cultural Arts Division / Jake Runestad / St. Martin’s Lutheran Church