Octavo of the Month (February 2008)
Mike Walag, ICDA High School R&S Chair
The Glorious Music of Life
Even though this piece has a 1991 copyright, I just discovered it, and I am currently using it with my 9th grade choir. The students ask to sing it everyday.
The piece opens with a lively, rhythmic motif, which returns several times throughout the composition. An interesting feature of this piece is the variety of tempos, meters, keys, and styles that Mark has incorporated. There is a slower, lyrical section immediately following the opening, and beautifully reflects the following text: “Everyday that is born into this world comes like a burst of music; and, we will make of it a dance, a dirge, or a song”.
Another interesting section features the altos on the melody, with the other 3-parts doing simultaneous independent and rhythmic variations on the original motif. This builds to a strong climax, and one last exultant statement proclaiming the “glorious music of life”.
This would make a good festival opener/closer.