Musician Will Chiles is releasing his first Choral EP, “Sapling Dream,” onto streaming services on Friday, August 30th, 2019.
All three tracks on the EP are sung by the Springfield Missouri-based choral ensemble, the Springfield Chamber Chorus.
“After many years of waiting, I’m so delighted to finally share these recordings on streaming platforms.” Chiles says “The Springfield Chamber Chorus is a top-notch choral group and I’m so grateful to have written these pieces for them, and worked with them on these recordings.”
“What’s a Sapling Dream?” asks Chiles, “I spend a lot of time managing a treefarm in the hills of the Ozarks. Trees are really quite remarkable in how they are interconnected in a forest. What does a Sapling Dream? To grow into the tree that it can be. These are some of my early choral works. And this is my first EP on streaming services, so I thought “Sapling Dream” was a good name for this project.”
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/1066065557
“Pieta, While in St. Peter’s Rome” is a setting of a poem by Wisconsin poet, John Graber. The poem describes Graber’s experience of seeing Michelangelo’s statue, “The Pieta,” in Rome for the first time.
“It’s a powerful poem,” says Chiles, “And I wanted to write what it would sound like to step in off of a dusty, bright, and noisy Italian street and into a dark and still space. I wondered, what would it sound like to run one’s hand along the cool marble curves of the statue? And what would it sound like if the feet of Christ were worn away by the touch of hands that believed in something bigger than themselves? I’m thankful that Jim Davidson asked me to write something for the Chorus.”
Soloists on the recording are Mandy Cengiz, Soprano; and Amy Brammer, Mezzo.
Guest director, Will Chiles.
“And There were Shepherds in the Fields Nearby,” is an alternative take on the Christmas story of the angels appearing to the shepherds on Christmas night. “What would it have been like to settle down for a long and quiet evening in the field, when all of the sudden the night sky is filled with light and noise?” Chiles says, “Why do you think angels always start with, “Don’t be afraid!”? I wanted to explore the vast strangeness of that particular story through song. The angels appear in all their glory and quick as lightening, they’re gone, leaving a bunch of bewildered shepherds behind.”
Soloist is Sara Coleman, Soprano.
Directed by William Gowers
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is a re-imagining of the very old Advent chant. “I don’t want to cover a song,” say Chiles, ”I want to uncover it. Take away all the layers of cliché that we’ve added to this very old piece. It isn’t a jolly Christmas tune. It’s a chant about waiting amidst doubt, waiting amidst hope. Waiting for something that is perhaps beyond our imagination. I love how director Willie Grega took this piece to a new level of mystery and advent.”
Soloist is Amanda Hake
Directed by William T. Grega
The Choral EP, “Sapling Dream,” comes out on all streaming services on Friday, August 30th, 2019.