Zephyrus, the outstanding Charlottesville-based vocal ensemble, has commissioned a piece for their upcoming season. Text choice has been a wonderfully collaborative process with them, and remains one of my favorite aspects of composing. While members of the chorus suggested some wonderful poetry, in the end they all agreed on my choice of The Gift to Sing, by James Weldon Johnson. Primarily performers of Renaissance music, their vocal blend also lends itself to contemporary music and they have performed a variety, including music by Tarik O’Regan, Ola Gjeilo and Ivan Moody. You can hear their rendition of Benedicams Domino by Michael Praetorius here.