06.06.15 (7:30pm), Saturday

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church
4102 N. Ben Jordan St., Victoria, TX
Tickets through Victoria Bach Festival
Pre-concert talk by composer Donald Grantham at 6:30pm

Click to see special prix fixe menu for June 7!

06.07.15 (4pm), Sunday

Dell Hall, Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 W. Riverside Dr., Austin, TX
Pre-concert talk by music educator Margaret Perry at 3pm (Parterre level)


Join Margaret Perry, Armstrong Community Music School Director (Austin), for a preview of the Great Big Choruses program.


Event Postcard (click to enlarge)

Choral music that’s both great and big! Conspirare Symphonic Choir collaborates with the Victoria Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra to perform a crowd-pleasing program of great choruses from oratorio, opera, and Broadway. Including Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from the 9th Symphony, selections from Orff’s Carmina Burana, music of Brahms, Verdi, and more!  The program will also include the world premiere of So Long as Days Shall Be, a short work by Donald Grantham (b. 1947) commissioned by Victoria Bach Festival.

Soloists Mela Dailey (soprano), Laura Mercado-Wright (alto), Eric Neuville (tenor), and Charles Wesley Evans (bass) join over 170 singers and more than 70 instrumentalists for this not-to-be-missed season finale.

90 minutes of music with a 20-minute intermission.

Great Big Choruses Program Booklet (pdf)

press release


Bay Psalm Book facsimile

About So Long as Days Shall Be by composer Donald Grantham: 

So Long as Days Shall Be takes its text from The Bay Psalm Book, first printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  This translation of the psalms was the first book in English to be produced in America, appearing just twenty years after the Pilgrims’ arrival.  “Thirty pious and learned ministers,” including John Eliot and Richard Mather (grandfather of Cotton Mather of Salem witch trial fame) authored the work. Their translation is metrical, roughly-rhymed, and – in their view – closer to the Hebrew originals than the ones found in other psalters of the period.  They sound rather eccentric to modern ears: none are now in common use and all have disappeared from contemporary hymnals. 

It was precisely this unfamiliar aspect that appealed to me as a composer, and I chose two of the most familiar psalms – 23 and 100 – to set to music.  I heard these texts in a new and fresh way when I first read them because of the striking contrast  with the traditional versions that I knew. 

Psalms 23 and 100 are very different in tone and character:  the first is serene and pastoral,  while the second, the Jubilate Deo, is celebratory and boisterous.  The music proceeds from the first to the second without pause, and the settings share some of the same material.

  • Giuseppi Verdi: Sanctus (Messa de Requiem)
  • George Frideric Handel: Zadok the Priest
  • Gabriel Fauré: Agnus Dei (Requiem, Op. 48)
  • Maurice Duruflé: Sanctus (Requiem, Op. 9)
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Dies irae, Lacrimosa (Requiem in D minor, K. 626)
  • Bedřich Smetana: “Let Us Join in Celebration” (The Bartered Bride)
  • Carl Orff : “O Fortuna” (Carmina Burana)
  • Johannes Brahms: Geistliches Lied
  • Franz Josef Haydn: “The Heavens Are Telling” (The Creation)


  • Donald Grantham: So Long As Days Shall Be (World Premiere)
  • Richard Rogers: “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” (State Fair)
  • Meredith Willson: “Till There Was You” (The Music Man)
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Finale “Ode to Joy” (Symphony No. 9 in D minor)

Season Sustaining Underwriter

Season Sustaining Underwriter