MAY 19, 2019
Lo, a Rose
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Graduate Recital Choir
Robert Myers, conductor
Keji Lu Sanchez, piano
The PDF is for viewing only. Please contact the composer for further use.
Arranged for SATB choir and piano, Lo, a Rose is a tender, contemplative setting of the incarnation of Christ described in the traditional German carol, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen. The text uses the first two stanzas of the hymn, freely mixing the better known translation of Theodore Baker with that of Harriet Krauth, along with tiny hints of Stille nacht scattered through the piece. A new line of text, “a rose is born on earth this night,” closes the song to leave no doubt about the floral metaphor’s meaning.
The light and delicate accompaniment, with hauntingly beautiful harmonies, directs the focus onto the text, providing just the right amount of color and interest. The somber, still, and simple mood of the song emphasizes that the light brought to us amid the darkness of sin was realized via a bitter and sorrowful path.
This arrangement is moderately easy but allows good musicianship to shine. Thus, Lo, a Rose fosters a choir’s demonstration of artistic merit without undergoing exhaustive preparations. Full previews, and print and downloadable octavos, are available at https://www.swirlymusic.org/music/choral-music/robert-myers-lo-a-rose-for-satb-choir-with-piano
This recording is performed by my graduate recital choir, accompanied by Keji Lu Sanchez on piano, directed by myself.
STATEMENT OF FAITH:
My faith statement is simple: Jesus Christ is Lord. By the grace of God I have been saved from my sins by the faith gifted from the Father through the hearing of the Word under the ministry of the Holy Spirit. My doctrine is orthodox of an evangelical flavor and my practice is Baptist.
As regards the intersection of faith and music, in this season of life I find that composing isn’t optional. It is both what I desire to do and, if I may use the term, a divine calling. After working thirty-something years in a completely different field, my appetite for that career was eclipsed by a deep yearning to write music for the church. But with no formal music education and nothing but clumsy and trite compositions to show for my efforts, this aspiration appeared a hill too high to climb in late middle age. However, God made a way. As I was to later learn from one of my theology professors, omnipotence may best be defined as God’s ability to accomplish whatever he wills. And, as certain as I can be that God has willed this, he made a way to accomplish it as well. He provided a school within commuting distance of my home, the income to live and pay tuition even with a reduced work schedule, the grace to pass the entrance exams, the mental acuity to keep up with the youngsters even thirty years removed from college, and a gracious and patient wife who put up with it all. And after all of this, He granted the grace of hearing some of my own works performed in His church. And, grace upon grace, during the years at seminary He developed within me a new reverence for His worship, some insight into why he ordains the use of music in that worship, and a yearning to teach these truths in His church.
To sum up where this puts me today, I am seeking to compose music of an aesthetic that reflects the invisible attributes of God, His eternal power and divine nature, as it is revealed in music, both to support the worship of the Church and to witness the transcendent truths of God to unbelievers (Rom 1:18-20). More succinctly, I seek to reveal God’s beauty in music both in the sanctuary and the concert hall.
Jesus told us that no one puts new wine into old wineskins, but Robert Myers is putting that to the test with a late-life career change into composition with a focus on sacred music. For Jesus also said, “what is impossible with man is possible with God!” Mr. Myers graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in December, 2017 with a Master of Music degree and a concentration in composition, studying composition under the tutelage of R. Christopher Teichler, Gary Joe Hardin, and Don Wyrtzen.
His compositions focus on sacred choral music with an aim to preserve and promote artistic choral and instrumental music in our churches and provide music for the concert hall that points to the eternal truth and beauty of Almighty God. He writes for both choral and instrumental ensembles with original works, arrangements of extant hymns, and new settings of old texts, and enjoys an occasional foray into absolute music of an impressionist/neo-romantic bent. His music and reflections are posted on his website at WheatMyer Music and his sheet music is available on both Sheet Music Plus and Swirly Music.
The highlight of his career to date is the performance of “Divinum Mysterium” by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Also, he was selected to attend the John Ness Beck Choral Composers Workshop to study under Craig Courtney, Dan Forrest, and Howard Helvey. Over the last twenty years Mr. Myers has performed in and assisted with choral and music ministries in churches across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and performed with the SWBTS Master Chorale at Bass Hall. He currently serves as Associate in the Worship & Creative Arts ministry at First Baptist Church, Keller, TX where he oversees vocal ensembles and the FBC Keller Orchestra.