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WorksChoral MusicWomen's Chorus/Men's ChorusJerusalem Luminosa

Jerusalem Luminosa (Jerusalem, City of Light)

Voicing: SA chorus or duet, a cappella
             TB chorus or duet, a cappella
Text: attrib. Thomas à Kempis; 15th c.
Language: Latin
Duration: 3 min.
Premiere: July 2001 -- l'Eglise Saint Severin, Paris, France
See the Score: pdf sample
Published by: SA score -- Kjos Music Press, Cat. No. 6323 (2006)
                      TB score -- currently unpublished, please contact Abbie for info

1) TB voicing with chorus (Men's ensemble, Macalester College -- Daniel Pickens-Jones, conductor)

2) SA voicing with women's choir (The Singers--Minnesota Choral Artists -- Matthew Culloton, conductor):

3) SA Duet -- Sung by Carrie Henneman Shaw (soprano) & the composer (alto):

"Abbie Betinis's music passes the 'fresh test' for me - it's original, vital, and engaging for both singers and audience. My singers have very much enjoyed Jerusalem Luminosa and we have used it on several concerts this season."
- Emily Ellsworth, artistic director, Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus of Greater Chicago

Program Note
Jerusalem Luminosa is an exploration of peace. The fifteenth century text is taken from a much longer poem celebrating Jerusalem and the unmeasured praises sung about its everlasting light.

The music begins in a tranquil state. What ensues, however, is another vision of true peace: not a peace that pacifies, but one that engages in the act of peace-making -- of compromise, and of joy in collaboration. The voices “play tag,” each part constantly trying to catch up with the other, lending and borrowing beats in order to align at cadences and partner at melodic peaks.

The text concedes to the rhythmic compromising by allowing many modifications to its malleable syllables. Thus “Jerusalem Luminosa” becomes “Luminosalem,” and “Alleluia, Alleluia” elides into “Allelui’Alleluia.” Another example of the textual cross-pollination is the final “Luminos’Alleluia.” This last measure pairs a “compromised” text with a rhythmic unison, thus finally accepting the pacis visio (vision of peace).

Today we know Jerusalem as a city shrouded in generations of controversy and war. Indeed, if there could only be some lending and borrowing, some geographical, moral, and religious compensation in that part of the world and everywhere, perhaps peace would be closer at hand.

- Abbie Betinis, 2002

Text & Translation

Jerusalem luminosa,
Verae pacis visio.

Totum sanctum, totum mundum,            
In te quidquid cernitur.

      - attrib. Thomas à Kempis
Jerusalem, city of light,
Vision of true peace.

All holy, all elegant,
Is that which shows itself in thee.

Performed by:
Academy of Tucson HS Advanced Women's Choir (Caleb Nihira, conductor) - Mesa, AZ
All North Jersey High School Women's Chorus (Jonathan Hirsh, guest conductor)
Anoka-Ramsey Community College Choir (Melissa Bergstrom, conductor)
Beloit College's Anacrusis (Susan Rice, conductor) - Beloit, WI
Blaine High School Women's Choir (Brad Miller, conductor)
California Lutheran University Women's Chorale
Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano; Abbie Betinis, alto. The Schubert Club, Saint Paul, MN
Central High School Women's Choir, Saint Paul, MN (Martha Graber, conductor)
Centre Women's Voices (Barbara Hall, conductor) - Danville, KY
CMU Women's Chorus, Canadian Mennonite University (Janet Brenneman, conductor)
College of Saint Benedict Women's Choir (Teri Larson, conductor)
Con Brio Children's Choir & womanSong Chorale (Emily Capece, conductor) - Charleston, WV
Concord Singers, New Jersey (Michael Sanflippo, conductor)
Concordia College Cantabile (Michael Culloton, conductor) - Moorhead, MN
Cordus Mundi (Rick Rosen, conductor) - Doylestown, PA
Dublin Jerome High School Chorale (Jeanne Wohlgamuth, conductor) - Columbus, OH
Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus (Emily Ellsworth, conductor)
Global Harmony Chorus (Jennifer Anderson, conductor)
Governor's School East Chorus (Laura Sam, conductor) - Raleigh, NC
Grace University Women's Chorus (Jason St. Claire) - Omaha, NE
Jenny Lind Singers of Augustana College (Drew Collins, conductor)
Kim Sueoka, soprano; Abbie Betinis, alto. Saint Paul's-on-the-hill Episcopal, Saint Paul, MN
Linda Kachelmier, mezzo-soprano; Abbie Betinis, alto. Church of the Nativity, Burnsville, MN
Men's Ensemble of Macalester College, Minnesota (Daniel Pickens-Jones, conductor)
Michigan State University Women's Glee Club (Kelly Miller, conductor)
Milligan Women’s Chorale (Anne Brooks Elliott, conductor) - Milligan College, TN
MN-ACDA Women’s Honor Choir (Phillip Swan, conductor) - Minneapolis, MN
Monroe #1 BOCES, Fairport, NY (specific 80-voice chorus unknown)
Oregon All-State Middle School Young Women's Choir (Cara Tasher, conductor) - Eugene, OR
Radcliffe Choral Society, Cambridge, MA (Beth Willer, conductor)
Smith College Chamber Singers (Jonathan Hirsh, conductor)
St. Ansgar's Chorus, Gustavus Adolphus College (Tim O'Brien, conductor)
Sounding Joy (Barbara Hall, conductor)- Danville, KY
University of Manitoba Women's Chorus (Elroy Friesen, conductor)
University of Windsor Chamber Choir (Richard Householder, conductor) - Windsor, ON, Canada
Vassar College Women's Chorus (Christine Howlett, conductor)
Vox Musica (Daniel Paulson, conductor)
West Liberty University Women's Choir (Ryan Keeling, conductor) - Wheeling, WV
Winter Park HS Freshman Women's Chorus (Joseph Kemper, conductor) - Orlando, FL
Women's All-State Choir, Ithaca, NY (Emily Ellsworth, conductor)
WomenSong (Frances Burmeister, conductor)

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