It is the eve before Dr. Jeffrey Carter‘s 51st anniversary of his birth.
I met Jeff in 2005 when he was director of The Ball State University Singers, and living in Muncie, Indiana. In June 2008, Jeff moved to St. Louis, Missouri to begin his tenure as the director of Webster University’s School of Music. Jeff grew up in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and this move was a super fit.
Aside from being a wonderful friend, and one of the most knowledgeable, and incredibly talented men I know, Jeffrey holds an even dearer place in the Jolliffe-Haas family, lovingly serving as one of several on the Godparent Team for my sons.
In honor of Jeffrey Richard Carter’s natalis dies, I am posting two special selections.
The first is based on a poem by Charles Dickens. Jeff programmed this piece on a Ball State University Singers’ concert, and it has been one of my favorites, since.
THINGS THAT NEVER DIE
The pure, the bright, the beautiful
that stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer,
The streams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit’s longing cry,
The striving after better hopes –
These thing can never die.
The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need;
A kindly word in grief’s dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed,
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart-
These things shall never die.
Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do,
Lose not a chance to waken love –
Be fire and just and true.
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee –
“These things shall never die.”
The second selection, “The Awakening” by Joseph M. Martin, is more personal, as it is my favorite choral piece. The final chorus: “Let music never die in me, forever let my spirit sing…” is one of the most powerful messages to each and every one of us. I selected this particular performance because it features the SWACDA Collegiate Honor Choir and the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra from Jeff’s hometown. The conductor is Eph Ehly.
Joseph M. Martin
“I dreamed a dream, a silent dream of a land not far away where no bird sang, no steeples rang, and teardrops fell like rain. I dreamed a dream; a silent dream. I dreamed a dream of a land so filled with pride that every song, both weak and strong, withered and died. I dreamed a dream No hallelujah; not one hosanna! No song of love, no lullaby. And no choir sang to change the world. No pipers played, no dancers twirled. I dreamed a dream; a silent dream. Awake, awake! Soli deo gloria! Awake, Awake! Awake my soul and sing, the time for praise has come. The silence of the night has passed, a new day has begun! Let music never die in me; forever let my spirit sing! Wherever emptiness is found let there be joy and glorious sound. Let music never die in me; forever let my spirit sing! Let all our voices join as one to praise the giver of the sun! Awake, awake! Let music live!”
Thank you, Jeffrey Carter, for being a wonderful friend, mentor, and inspiration to myself, and to my sons.
The Haasienda sends you much, much love!