Below, a simple Video rendering of my song “Climbing Up That Mountain.” In church they’d call it a “choral anthem.”
I worked on my doctorate at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville from 1973 to 1977, attending the adjacent University Baptist Church while I did. There I was fortunate to come into a wonderful music program directed by Carl Beard, a program that grew even more in prominence when, in conjunction with the university, he started a student choral group, naming it Jubilate, for decades now one of the finest choirs on the East Coast.
In April 2018 Jubilate celebrates its 45th anniversary, and I’ve been told “Climbing Up That Mountain” will be on the program. How fortunate I was to have an instrument like Jubilate—and indeed the church’s own Chancel Choir—to write for. They were so good I could write practically anything I wanted, though that probably resulted in music a bit too “fancy.” “Think of a normal church choir doing these,” advised Harold Best, then chair of music at Wheaton College when we discussed revising some of my pieces. “They’re so good, but you could think more in terms of a choir that’s lucky if they can scrape together two tenors.” Gary Walton, a Jubilate member and also studying English at UVa said, “Lucky your music’s so good…because it’s hard.” Revisions coming soon, I’ve told others and myself for a few years now! A recent email from Gary reads:
“What a treat it was that Robby Gough has kept up with you all these years and knew your web address. So for the last hour I have been touring the site and learning a bit of your life since you left C-ville in the 70’s. My father’s favorite choral anthem of all time was “Love of thy Children” [live link coming soon]. My sister had four of us—Tom and Diane Mundell, my wife Sally and I— sing “Emmaus” at her wedding. Sally transcribed the first version of “Psalm 103” while she was still in high school in C-ville and taking voice lessons with Carl. So I have been singing along with the music on the web site tonight.”
Gary Walton is now Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and Professor of English at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. In the song/video below, Jubilate, directed by Carl Beard (with Gary Walton probably in it), features soloist Evan Young. Robby Gough, whose dedication to Jubilate has been of inestimable value from the very beginning, served as recording engineer.
♦ Go to GuzMusic on this site for music, mainly by Dan Guzman and a few others—like me.