Composer Judith Baity

Composer, director, accompanist, and piano instructor, Judith Baity, composed “The Gift to Sing” for the Choristers in 2008.

Listen to “The Gift to Sing”

Text by James Weldon Johnson:

Sometimes the mist overhangs my path, And blackening clouds about me cling; But, oh, I have a magic way To turn the gloom to cheerful day— I softly sing. And if the way grows darker still, Shadowed by Sorrow’s somber wing, With glad defiance in my throat, I pierce the darkness with a note, And sing, and sing.


Composer Robert Harris, Ph.D.

Dr. Harris, professor emeritus at Northwestern University, composed “April Rain Song” for the Choristers in 2008.

Listen to “April Rain Song”

Text by Langston Hughes:

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk. The rain makes running pools in the gutter. The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night — and I love the rain.


Composer Rosephanye Powell, Ph.D.

Part 1: Music Director Dr. James B. Kinchen, Jr. talks with Dr. Rosephanye Powell about the evolution of “Softly the Night Is Sleeping,” the piece she wrote for the Choristers in 2018.

Part 2: Dr. Powell recounts how she was called to a career in music composition and education.

Listen to “Softly the Night Is Sleeping”

Text by E. A. Washburn:

Softly, the night is sleeping on Bethlehem’s peaceful hill. Silently, the shepherds watching, the gently flocks are still. Hark! The wondrous music falls from the op’ning sky. Valley and cliff reecho, “Glory to God on high!” Glory to God it rings again. Peace on earth, Good will to men. Glory to God it rings again: “Glory to God!” Come with the gladsome shepherds, quick hast’ning from the fold. Come with the wise men bringing incense, myrrh and gold. Come to Him poor and lowly, around the cradle throng. Come with your hearts of sunshine, and sing the angel’s song.