Al Señor Clamé

Jessica Figueroa, vocals – Rory Chambers, guitar – at Princeton Theological Seminary

This song is inspired by the words of Psalms 120 and 121.  I originally set only 120 but I added Psalm 121 for the second verse, because I think that Psalm 121 is the reorientation toward hope from the rawness of 120.

I called the tune Rio Frío because I wrote it during a trip to the Texas hill country, and I was near the river with that name.

For more information on the GIA’s multicultural hymnal Santo, Santo, Santo please visit Giamusic.com

The Psalms: Our School of Prayer

God wants to train us in the school of prayer and for this effect has given us this beautiful gift right in the middle of the Scriptures: the Book of Psalms. The Psalms are the book of prayer of the Hebrew people, and they were also adopted by the Christian Church who sees in them a prophetic exaltation of Jesus the Messiah. 

We may ask, are the Psalms prayers or hymns? The answer of course is yes to both, as these prayers can be chanted, sung, or spoken. We all have observed how children learn to speak by imitating their parents and their siblings.  Likewise, the Psalms are words that God gives to us so that we can speak them back to him. They are our training prayers for the healing for our souls. 

Sakura Variations

Variaciones sobre un tema folklórico japonés por Carlos Colón. Variations on a Japanese folk melody.

For scores, please write to the composer.

Sakura Variations performed by the composer:

Canción de Cuna de Enrique Solares

Foto cortesía de la familia Solares

Canción de Cuna (Craddle Song) by Guatemalan composer Enrique Solares (1910-1995). I met Maestro Solares in 1992, and he played this piece for me when he was nearly blind.

Entrevisté al Maestro Solares para mi tesis, y el bellamente tocó esta pieza para mí. Estaba casi ciego ya. Este es el tempo que él utilizó.

Dice Ana María, hija del compositor:

“Muchas gracias querido Carlos por este homenaje a mi adorado papá, don ENRIQUE SOLARES, diplomático, pianista y compositor guatemalteco, del cual yo soy su hija menor, junto a mi hermana mayor Ana Vera. Papá compuso esta dulce Canción de Cuna para el nacimiento de mi querida hermana mayor. Y cuando yo nací, tres años más tarde, pues siendo una bebé, me dormía con la misma melodía!! ! Nunca le perdoné a papá que no hubiera compuesto otra Canción de Cuna para mí solita! Mil gracias querido Carlos por este lindo regalo, para las dos! Espero que tu familia y tú estén bien de salud, dentro de esta locura que estamos viviendo!!!”

Dichosofuí (for Orchestra and Voice)

Dichosofuí with the Baylor Symphony

From Carlos Colón’s song cycle, Lament With Wings. This song cycle uses the poetry of Salvadorean poet Alfredo Espino (1900- 1928). This poem comes from a collection by Espino titled Jícaras Tristes.

Here are the words to the poem, and a line by line translation:

Dichosofuí (I-once-knew-joy)

Tu cántico en la calma del paisaje
Your song in the calmness of the landscape
Es un hondo suspiro que se aleja…
Is a deep sigh that fades away
Una queja con alas…una queja…
A lament with wings…a lament…
Que brota desde el alma del boscaje
That sprouts from the forest’s soul
¡Oh, pájaro! Tu música salvaje,
Oh, bird! Your wild music
En la mañana azul, cabe la vieja
In the blue morning, fits…
Habitación de bahareque y teja,
The old room of adobe and tile,
Me hizo oir tu tiernísimo lenguaje…
It made me listen (understand) your most tender language…

Pájaro triste, ¿qué hondo desencanto
Sad bird, what deep disappointment
te arranca esas estrofas de terneza? Que son dulce expresión de tu quebranto?
Plucks out these tender verses… That are (a) sweet expression of your brokenness?

This slideshow contains pictures of my hometown:

Here’s my friend Antonio Herrera, who survived the massacre of the Río Sumpul. He lives now in Dallas and is a fierce advocate of immigrant rights.

El Señor Herrera sends Wheaton students a greeting, and talks about his experience:

A few years ago I took a choir to El Salvador, and we shared music at Saint Oscar Romero’s crypt and the day of his beatification, the last step before he was proclaimed a saint.

(Song “Esto les digo” – This I tell you, where two or three are gathered…)