This album was recorded live in concert at the last of a series of five concerts given at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada on February 17, 1980. Without amplification, their singing filled not only the hall, but also the hearts, ears, and in some cases, eyes of everyone in the audience. The dynamic blend of Star-Scape’s sound and the originality of their repertory, all masterfully nurtured by Mr. Mills, are clearly evident in this recording.
The album begins with Rapture of Freedom, in which nine voice start in the trumpeting style of a fanfare. They continue to move through a variety of moods ranging from the solemn to the ecstatic. Rhapsody of Song follows and is introduced by the solo piano of Linda Roedl _ a forceful statement that suggests the bells of Kiev. The piano softens and offers a accompaniment to the soprano voice of Stefanie Dedrick. After a provocative solo, the choir joins in and carries the piece to a moving conclusion. Side two opens with a composition written for four women’s voices. O, What Is a Day displays some inventive and difficult contrapuntal singing by Stefanie Dedrick, Dianne Forsyth, Ellen Dedrick and Sandra Dedrick. The last cadence is of such harmonic intensity that the Singers actually have to move apart in order to hear themselves! This vocal quartet is followed by the title composition, Sing Unto Me a New Song. The main theme is a lively succession of triplets that move like swirling waters, each section of the choir seemingly independent in its unexpected entrances. Robert Mann sings a brief but poignant bass solo, followed by a vocal build of energy that has its climax in a well-defined two-against-three passage of triplet and eighths the main theme sounds once again and the piece ends on a powerful cadence. The final selection on the album is The Word Is Always Thunderous. The setting is in ancient Israel, the Horeb Heights of Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Law. The mood is not only thunderous, but deeply reverent. Christopher Dedrick sings a baritone solo that seems filled with the spirit of that time. The lightning-like ascent of voices to the last chord is followed by a joint stomping of fee, suggesting a final clap of thunder.
Sing Unto Me a New Song is an album of unique music and musicianship. Listen as The Star-Scape Singers, in their new genre of sound, weave the lyric of their poet/conductor Kenneth Mills into flowing garments of song.
“Of the world’s wonders, this is the most wonderful! The world should hear this most beautiful ensemble.” - Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, former conductor/director, Kiev State Opera and Ballet
“A stunning aural experience. Voices blended in unique fashion to form vocal orchestral music.” - Louis Teicher, Director of Music Operations, CBS Television Network.
“Incredible! This is absolutely luminous music. It is like a shaft of light breaking through the clouds.” - Melissa Manchester
The Star-Scape Singers: Christopher Dedrick, Ellen Dedrick, Stefanie Dedrick, Sandra Dedrick, Dianne Forsyth, Robert Mann, Jaan Koel, Linda Roedl (also on piano) and James Roedl.
Music by Kenneth G. Mills and Christopher Dedrick
Lyrics by Kenneth G. Mills
Produced by Kenneth G. Mills
Recording assistants: Philip Rang, Gerry Menken, John Arciuch, Michael Giles
Mastering: George Grave at Lacquer Channel, Toronto