Conversion of Saul, The

SSAATTBB/unacc; Macaronic text – Latin and English; U.S. Publisher Alliance Music #0530; Duration 4 minutes

Of course, this is a musical description of Saul’s dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus. Saul was the chief executioner for the Roman government. Latin scholar, Richard Cupich, and I came up with the Latin text on the first half of the work to describe the tumult, pounding, shouting, and angry crowd. This reflects on Saul’s past when he presided over the stoning of innumerable individuals. Then a petal tone (the one true, immovable light from heaven) cuts through the texture and suddenly all stops. God speaks, “Why do you persecute me? Bow down, Saul…”

This work is often performed at international choral competitions. It was sung by UT (Italy) Vocal Ensemble (winner of 2016 European Grand Prix for Choral Singing, Lorenzo Donato – conductor), Sofia Vocalensemble Sweden, Tomsic University Slovenia, Philippine Madrigal Singers, and over 600 international and national performances a year.

This work was commissioned by the Lake Highland (Texas) Chorale, Lisa Cunningham, Director.