Conductor’s Corner: Songs of Sweet Starlight

December 2015
Thomas E. Lerew
Interim Music Director

Stars embody many different meanings and heartfelt emotions for different people. Their mysticism connects people with a sense of wonder as they gaze up at the vast universe we all share. It’s difficult for us to realize that stars shine with infinite light twenty-four hours a day, but they are only visible because of the darkness that night brings. It’s a relationship: light can only glow when darkness is present to contrast light.

Similarly, human kind is fascinated by the patterns that stars make in the night sky. Constellations are points of brilliant starlight that form distinct patterns if we can but imagine the lines that connect them. Hundreds of them have been recorded — Aquarius, Canis Major, Leo, Orion, Scorpius, to name but a few. When we look heavenward, let us consider our own connections to people and life experiences that mean the most to each of us, day-by-day, moment-by-moment. This is the eternity that constellations symbolize – inspiration ignited by the partnership of imagination and hope.

As ARS embarks on this year of transition, we look up to the light reflecting on a past of which we can be proud and a future in which we can be confident. Stars shine through the darkness and ARS has certainly experienced darkness in the last several months. Today’s program is intended to allow singers and audience alike, to ‘explore’ the gamut of human emotions from fear, darkness and the bleakness that all humans experience — such as sorrow, loss and grief, isolation — to triumph, hope, joy, resolution, and a bright future. It is my desire that as you listen to, and experience, Songs of Sweet Starlight, you will leave with the infinite hope that stars represent when we look up to the Starry Heavens, and see the loving twinkle in God’s eyes as He blesses us.

I would like to thank our Operations Manager, Jan Sturges, for her assistance in clarifying my thoughts on the correlation between “stars” and the music we are thrilled to share with you today.