Congratulations to the singers of sounding light for this glowing review of Look up…and See from The Banner magazine, written by Randall Engle
Everyone who has followed sounding light from its inception will be thrilled with the group’s third recording. The choral artistry is unmatched, and the repertoire selection tasteful and innovative. The music and texts take the listener on a journey of first lifting up the eyes (Psalm 121), then down the road of the troubles and joys of life, and ends with two poignant, choral prayers for Christian pilgrimage. A modern day “disc of ascent,” this recording leaves the listener looking, gratefully, to the heavens.
Look up and See, released in fall 2014, features the luminous voices of sounding light in inspired music which offers an inspirational message. sounding light’s third recording features world premieres by Anne Wilson and Tom Trenney alongside contemporary favorites by René Clausen and Stephen Paulus, and spiritual songs by Andraé Crouch and Stacey Gibbs with choral classics from Norman Luboff, Alice Parker, and Robert Shaw.
Tidings of Comfort and Joy
sounding light celebrates the spirit of Christmas
- Friday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, MI
- Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. at University Presbyterian Church, Rochester Hills, MI
- Sunday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m. at North Hills Christian Reformed Church, Troy, MI
“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!” “O come, all ye weary, and I will give you rest.” Take a deep breath from the hustle and bustle; rest a moment from the business and busy-ness of the holiday season. Come to hear the angelic voices of sounding light bringing heavenly music that will reawaken the awe and wonder of this holy season. Raise your voice with the angel choirs in favorite Christmas carols, sharing the good tidings of comfort and joy!
From Age to Age
sounding light sings timeless choral masterworks
- Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Flint, MI
- Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, MI
- Sunday, March 15 at 3:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, Plymouth, MI
Travel through time to discover the true treasures of music history with the golden voices of sounding light as your guide. The choir will share sparkling gems by Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, and Felix Mendelssohn as well as cherished riches by Alexander Gretchaninoff and Sergei Rachmaninoff. sounding light’s master singers will sing a wealth of music of the masters in a concert for the ages.
The World Made New
sounding light and the Mark Stone Trio perform eclectic music of hope and renewal
- Friday, June 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Plymouth, MI
- Saturday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. at Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, MI
- Sunday, June 7 at 7:00 p.m. First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI
From words by Dolly Parton and Eleanor Roosevelt to music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Sweet Honey and the Rock, sounding light sings a bold, colorful collage in its most eclectic program to date. Featuring the incomparable Mark Stone Trio (percussion and violin), this season finale will deliver an irrepressible spirit of hope, promise, and possibility. Kick off your summer by opening your ears to sounding light’s compelling vision of the world made new!
sounding light possesses wonderful heft and maturity of sound, a rich darkness and solid core that creates an immediate feeling of warmth in the listener. The obvious gifts of both conductor Tom Trenney and his twenty-five singers shine through this entire recording; it is as solid a presentation of the Christmas choral repertoire as any released in some time, and will serve conductors as an excellent benchmark recording.
Trenney’s programming choices explore different identities for some familiar tunes through subtle variance of the tempo and style often associated with them. For example, the first track, Jeffrey Van’s arrangement of Once in Royal David’s City, is performed significantly slower and in a style guided more by the contemplative nature of the carol’s text than its traditional position as a processional. In a similar vein, the warhorse Carol of the Drum is performed at a tempo just on the edge of too quick, creating an atmosphere of forward motion and excitement in a piece more often offered as an inexorably plodding march.
In addition to the fine ensemble performance of sounding light, soloists shine on several tracks, a further indication of the depth of talent within the choir. Sensitive additions to the primarily a cappella program include some truly lovely piano and oboe playing; the possibility of monotony is easily avoided by including such accompanied works. The oboe in Dale Warland’s arrangement of The Huron Carol and the delicate piano performance in Abbie Betinis’s fresh setting of Holst’s In the Bleak Midwinter are standout moments. The alternate text employed in Betinis’s arrangement adds new layers of complexity and possibilities to this popular work; this is in keeping with the exploratory nature of the entire album.
In short, the album is full of excellent performances, each one with a finely wrought, compelling musical identity. Perhaps the two moments most indicative of the sensitivity of sounding light’s singing are the simple, elegant presentation of Stanford Scriven’s instant classic Christ the Apple Tree and the subtle attention to diction, particularly shifting intensity of consonants, in Tom Trenney’s own lovely arrangement of O Come, All Ye Faithful. These two moments alone would recommend purchase of this recording; the fact that the rest of the album is equally persuasive is a wonderful bonus!
—Brian Burns, Dubuque, IA
Published in NC-ACDA Melisma: Fall 2013
With its second recording in as many years, sounding light offers a new lush, introspective Christmas recording that evokes the awe of the incarnation. Without noisy fanfare, many familiar carols are offered in newly-commissioned, contemplative settings. Other tracks feature unfamiliar carols from diverse genres and traditions. Weaving all the tracks together is the near-perfect articulation, intonation and musicianship of this premiere choral group. Glorious and heavenly indeed.
-Randall D. Engle in The Banner
A lot has changed in these last ten years, but Many Voices…One Song has remained committed to its inspiring mission: sharing music to build community. In this tenth anniversary season, sounding light promises more of the compelling, communicative performances that its audiences have come to expect since its concert debut in 2003. Join the engaging choral artists of sounding light and their beloved founder and conductor, Tom Trenney, in this spectacular season-long celebration of the first decade of Many Voices…One Song.