Dark Night of the Soul: Choral Reflections on Advent and Wintertime

Friday, December 9, 7:00 PM
Church of the Good Shepherd, Brentwood, TN

Saturday, December 10, 7:00 PM
Christ the King Church, Nashville, TN

In this season of growing darkness and anticipation we’ll explore ancient and contemporary musings on mystery, wonder, the deepening of the night, and the longed-for return of the sun. This program includes Advent masterworks from the Renaissance, modern classics by Morten Lauridsen and Eric Whitacre, and the Tennessee premiere of Ola Gjeilo’s Dark Night of the Soul– a breathtaking, cinematic excursion through the mystical words of St. John of the Cross for chorus, piano, and strings.

I. Come, Darkness
Veni, Veni, Emanuel – Hardin
Ecce Dominus Venit – Praetorius

II. Mystery and Wonder
Nova Nova – Chilcott
O Magnum Mysterium – Lauridsen

III. Into the Night
Nocturne in a Deserted Brickyard – Dunnevant

Ballade to the Moon – Elder

IV. The Dark Night
Dark Night of the Soul – Gjeilo

V. A Heaven Full of Stars
Stars – Esenvalds
A Good-Night – Bennett

VI. The Gift of Light
The Darkest Midnight in December
Lux Aurumque – Whitacre


On Sunday September 18 at 3:00 PM at The Temple (Congregation Ohabai Shalom), Portara Ensemble will present its fall concert A Prayer for Peace, a part of the Musica Sacra Mundi Concert Series.  

Invoking the beauty of the human voice, Portara Ensemble uses choral music as the gateway to elevate and inspire audiences through the transformative power of artistic collaboration. Our September program is the continuation of a series celebrating the music of a sacred world. Drawing from a diverse array of cultural and religious expressions, “A Prayer for Peace” acknowledges our human need for connection that transcends our differences.

The concert will feature music from composers Daniel Elder, Joan Szymko, Frank Ticheli, and many more, including the TN premiere of “The Hope of Loving” (a multi-movement work for chorus and string quartet, with texts inspired by Christian mystics like Teresa of Avila and St Francis) by Minnesota-based composer Jake Runestad.  An encore performance will be presented at St Paul’s Episcopal Church on Sunday September 25, at 3:00 pm.

All are welcome – Suggested Donation $10

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Theresa


Sorida – Rosephanye Powell

Sim Shalom – Joseph Willcox Jenkins
The Heart’s Reflection – Daniel Elder

Earth Song – Frank Ticheli
Iraqi Peace Song – arr. Lori Tennenhouse

Even a Fist was Once an Open Palm – Elizabeth Alexander
All Works of Love – Joan Szymko

The Hope of Loving – Jake Runestad

There Will Come Soft Rains – Ivo Antognini