Walking to the Sun
Commissioned by Dr. F. Dale and Linda G. Bengtson
for the Centennial Celebration of Anderson University (1917-2017)
and dedicated to the Anderson University Chorale and Dr. Richard Sowers, conductor
A centennial is a joyous occasion for any institution, as we look both back to what has been accomplished and forward to the many dreams yet realized. There could be no better poem for such an occasion than Wendell Berry’s prescient “We Travelers, walking to the sun, can’t see.” Berry artfully captures the sense of wonder and uncertainty present in walking forward into the sun, a light that also illuminates the path we have traveled.
I have chosen music for Walking to the Sun that is bright and partnered. The clarinet and viola weave opening lines from the bottoms of their instruments skyward, while the piano has a simple repetitive walking motive, and the crotales announce the form in almost liturgical fashion. The chorus walks the path with the instruments, always moving and rarely static, even in the final chords of the work, both reflective and expectant.
This work is dedicated humbly to Dr. Richard Sowers and the Anderson University Chorale, and it is gratefully offered in thanks to Dr. F. Dale and Linda G. Bengtson and the entire Anderson University community. May your second century be as prosperous as the first, as you light the way for further generations of students who choose to walk forward into the unknown.