"The Battle of Jericho" for SATB Choir + Four Soloists
In "The Battle of Jericho," four gospels (one towering over each cardinal direction) stand outside the city of Jericho, a major military power sequestered off by wall. Each gospel represents the voice of a different tradition (Black Baptist, Jewish, Christian, and Mormon). These gospels sing of Joshua (Yeshua), a Messianic figure, as he and his tribe march around the cold, isolated city. Joshua and his choir surround the city with their own wall of sound, using the might of their voices to dissolve each brick from the wall without violence.
Inspired by Moses Hogan and saddened by his death (at the extremely young age of forty- five), I wrote this song as a gift for my high school choir to sing for senior year. As a result, this recording is my friends at Jesuit High School’s performance from the 2019 Oregon State high school choir competition. The work was originally premiered a week before this recording’s inception by the professional choir Opus 7 under conductor Loren Ponten and composer-mentor Dr. John Muehleisen.
The traditional melody of the spiritual, from Moses Hogan’s legendary arrangement, is woven into the bass line of the surrounding choir. Symbolically, this represents building off of societal traditions and expanding on them in order to create new, beautiful forms of music in between traditions. In all of my music, I try to weave the musics of different figures, traditions, cultures, and species into narratives, because music is a true force that unifies us all.
Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble
Date: 5 May 2018
Location: Seattle, Washington, US
Performers: Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, dir. Loren Ponten
Jesuit High School
Date: 5 May 2018
Location: Portland, Oregon, US
Performers: The Jesuit High School Chamber Choir, dir. Carol Young, Oregon All State Choir