1.  EYE OF THE SPARROW The newest CD from Carl MaultsBy composer & conductor pays tribute to the Civil Rights Movement.

Eye of the Sparrow
I. Prologue 3:46
II. Colors 7:15
III. Chant 10:12
IV. Psalm 6:25
V. Wisdom and Truth 2:22
VI. Rejoice, Celebrate and Sing 5:09
Kum Ba Ya 2:36
The View from the Mountaintop
I. The Justice Ascended 3:26
II. The View from the Mountaintop 3:00
III. Mountain Mover (based on the Norris Rayham poem “Mountain Mover”) 3:47
Peace, Be Still 5:59
Hold On (A Medley of U. S. Slave/Civil Rights Songs) 3:49
Hold On (A Little While Longer)
This Train Is Bound for Freedom
(Keep Your Hand on the Plow) Hold On
Guide My Feet
Swing Down Chariot 2:16

Eye of the Sparrow was conceived as a joint installation project between visual artist, Karen Fitzgerald, and myself. However, the project did not get immediately off the ground until 2001 when I received a Harvard University Fromm Music Foundation Commission to create the music component. But funding for the visual component as well as the installation was delayed. Finally, in January 2006, with the assistance from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the installation took place at the Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York City.

The title is inspired by the Civilla Martin and Charles H. Gabriel evangelical hymn, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” a favorite of Dr. King. Karen and I asked the question, if King could view America in 2006 through the eye of a sparrow, what would the martyred civil rights leader see? This question begged us to first learn more about the sparrow and its eye.

Movement I (“Prologue) suggests the mystique of the bird itself and its relationship to planet earth. Although the sparrow sees in monochrome, its eye reflects the full spectrum of color (Movement II- “Colors”). In Movement III (“Chant”) our question comes face to face with the realities of human life on planet earth: “World full of sorrow, pain and grief?” I try to capture this dilemma by evoking the pathos in a movement stylized after a U. S. slave spiritual. The melody is original.

The piece segues into a contrasting Movement IV (“Psalm). After the somberness of “Chant,” the modal shift to the major mode offers a ray of hope. The sparrow is used frequently as a biblical image to symbolize God’s love for humankind. “Psalm” draws its text from Psalm 84: “The sparrow has found her a house and the swallow a nest where she my lay her young.” Since King was also an ordained minister who relied heavily on the bible to stir the conscious of America, I thought it fitting to use a biblical text in this movement.

To symbolize King’s dream of “black and white, Jews and gentiles joining hands,” I have juxtapose three cultural traditions: Afro, Anglo and Judeao. “Psalm” begins in the style of a responsorial Anglican chant. It then transforms into a hip-hop beat under the Hebrew text of Psalm 84. Each Sunday as I left the Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY, number two train subway stop on my way to play at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, I was immediately thrown into culture shock at seeing the contrasts and conflicts between Hasidic Jews and the Afro- Caribbean Americans of that community. This scene provided the inspiration for “Psalm.” Musically, it depicts a cultural model for U. S. A. society, and by extension, the global community.

My first musical sketch for the entire work was Movement V (“Wisdom”). I called up my high school mate, the tenor Curtis Rayham, and persuaded him to come over to my apartment and try this melody which in my head I heard him singing. I had been reading the book of Wisdom from the Bible which provided the inspiration for the text. But more importantly, it suggests that if all humankind would embrace and nurture the concept then all the world could “Rejoice, Celebrate and Sing” (Movement VI).

Throughout this compilation I turn to again to the psalms (Psalm 107-“Peace, Be Still;” Psalm 46-“The View from the Mountaintop,” Movement II) and spiritual/civil rights songs (“Kum Ba Yah,”“Hold On” and “Swing Down Chariot”) as both unifying and inspirational devices.

The View from the Mountaintop is a tribute to both Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King. After the assassination of Dr. King, Mrs. King made her life’s work keeping alive the legacy of her husband and inspiring the world to move closer towards King’s vision from the mountaintop as expressed in his speech “I Have a Dream.” The work examines a week of irony in U. S. history: January 30, 2006, - February 7, 2006. On January 30th, Mrs. King died. Within 24 hours, a perceived anti-civil rights judge was elevated to the U. S. Supreme Court. February 7th was Mrs. King’s final memorial service at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Lithonia, GA. Some U. S. media dubbed this as the last civil rights rally of an era.

The second movement offers a glimpse of the peaceful world from the mountaintop. It then segues to a psalm of hope and consolation, Psalm 46, before recapitulating to the opening statement. This movement segues to the spirited final movement, “Mountain Mover,” with text based based upon the motivational poem of the same title by Norris Rayham. It captures the spirit of both Coretta and Martin.

Carl MaultsBy, 27 September 2007, New Orleans, LA


Eye of the Sparrow

I. Prologue

II. Colors
Blue, purple, green, yellow, red, gray, peach, green, orange, beige , mauve, black, white, peach, brown,

III. Chant
Eye of the sparrow, what it see: World full of sorrow, pain and grief?
My God told me if I believe
He’d show me a new world where all people are free.
My God promised there would come a day
Trials, tribulations soon will all pass away.
O, no more weeping! No more wailing!
No more killing, no dying! No more mothers crying for a buried child.

V. Psalm
Happy are they who dwell in your house! They will always be praising you.
How dear to me is your dwelling, O Lord of hosts!
My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
The sparrow has found her a house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young;
By the side of your altar, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Happy are they who dwell in your house! They will always be praising you.
Happy are the people whose strength is in you!
Whose hearts are set on the pilgrim’s way.
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room,
And to stand at the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.
Gam tzippor matza vayeet oodror kehn lah
Asher shata ephrocheha et meezb/chotecha
Adonai tz’vaoat malkee vaylohi.

V. Wisdom and Truth
The Lord has granted us Wisdom to lead us to a higher shore.
The Lord has granted us Wisdom, a light to lead to Truth:
And the sparrow has found her a home!

VII. Rejoice, Celebrate and Sing
Rejoice, celebrate and sing!
We’ve come this far riding on the back of a vision,
A light to free us mind, body and soul was the mission.
Stumbling blocks turned to stepping stones.
The battle is over, the victory is won
And the sparrow has found her a home!
Let all the world sing out and join the celebration.
Give thanks and praise to God who freed a captive nation.
Sun of day and the stars of night
All make way for the Light of Light
And the sparrow has found her a home! Alleluia!
Kum Ba Ya is a U. S. slave melody imported into the civil rights movement of the sixties.
Kum Ba Ya, my Lord, Kum Ba Ya. O, Lord, Kum Ba Ya
Come by here, my Lord, Kum Ba Ya.
Someone’s praying, Lord, Kum Ba Ya.
Someone needs you, Lord, Kum Ba Ya.

The View from the Mountaintop
I. The Justice Ascended
The justice ascended as the widow died and the nation shed a tear.
Strict constructionist, compassionate conservative.
O God, make speed to save us! O Lord, make speed to help us!
Justice! Just us!
O no, don’t let nobody turn you aroun’! Keep prayin’ for justice and peace.
Well, the saints kept-a singin’ and a preachin’ and a prayin’.
Yes, the saints kept-a singin’ and a preachin’ and a prayin’.

II. The View from the Mountaintop
The view from the mountaintop is clear and the world seems at peace.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be moved,
and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea.
We will not fear!
The view from the mountain top is clear –
Its from the mountain top mine eyes have seen the coming of God!

III. Mountain Mover (based on the Norris Rayham poem “Mountain Mover”)
I’m a mover, I’m a mover, I’m a mountain mover.
Move over mountain!
People who won’t help me can’t hinder me.
I’m pressing ahead leaving all negativity behind.
I will not be controlled by pushy lives wanting to replace their energy with my lifeline.
I’m a mountain mover, solid as a rock and strong like an ox.
I’m smart like the eagle soaring oer the sea keeping love first for you and for me.
I’m ready to prove old mountains can still be moved.
I can’t let defeat obligate my will.
I must fight, struggle, and appeal.
I won’t lose, I wont give in!
I am a mountain mover straight to the end.
(Based on the poem “Mountain Mover” by Norris Rayham)

Peace, Be Still
“Peace, be still!” The wind and the waves whisper at your will. “Peace, be still!”

O, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Some went down to the sea in ships and plied their trade in deep waters. They beheld the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.

Then he spoke, and a stormy wind arose, which tossed high the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heavens and fell back to the depths; their hearts melted because of their peril.

They reeled and staggered like drunkard and were at their wits end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper and quieted the waves of the sea. Then were they glad because of the calm, and he brought them to the harbor they were bound for.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children. Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

Hold On (A Medley of U. S. Slave/Civil Rights Songs)
Hold On (A Little While Longer)
Hold on just a little while longer. Ev’rything will be alright.
This Train Is Bound for Freedom
This train is bound for freedom. Carry nothing but righteous people.
(Keep Your Hand on the Plow) Hold On
Keep your hand on the plow, hold on. Keep that plow in your hand. Land you straight in freedom land. Oh, my brother, stay on ya track. Ya never get to freedom if ya lookin’ back.
Guide My Feet
Guide my feet while I run this race cause I don’t want to run this race in vain. Yes, I’m praying: hold my hand while I run this race cause I don’t want to run this race in vain.

Swing Down Chariot
O, swing down low!
Swing down chariot , stop and let me ride. Rock me, Lord, calm and easy. I’ve got a home on the other side. I looked over Jordan and what did I see? Comin’ for to carry me home, a band of angels comin’ after me. Comin’ for to carry me home.
If you get there before I do, (comin’ for to carry me home), tell all my friends I’m comin’ too (comin’ for to carry me home).

Rejoicensemble!
What began in 1984 as a routine telephone call from Harry Belafonte to Carl MaultsBy to contract an ad hoc group of singers for the movie Beat Street has evolved into an emerging arts institution and chamber vocal group known as Rejoicensemble! Incorporated in 1992 as a not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization, Rejoicensemble, Inc., is dedicated to commissioning and performing works by contemporary African American composers, the preservation and performance of African American music, as well as other music of the African Diaspora, and increasing the general public awareness of the cultural significance of music of the African American experience.

As a champion of new music of African American composers, Rejoicensemble! presented the 1996 Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center production "A Salute to the New York City African American Composer." This concert featured the world premieres of Shelton Becton's "Glory to the Lord" and Kenwood Dennard's "Million Man Song" as well as performances of Joseph Joubert's "Spiritual Suite," Jewel Taylor Thompson's "They Call Her Mother," Billy Taylor's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free," and Anthony Davis' "My Name Is Shabazz" from his opera, X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X.

Other composers featured by Rejoicensemble! include Joyce Solomon Moorman [“Dream Variations (2007, St. Mark’s Church, Brooklyn)], David Hurd [“In Honor of Martin” (2005, St. Philip’s Church, Brooklyn)], M. Roger Holland [“The Dream and the Dreamer (2004, St. Bart’s, Manhattan)], Daryl Water [“…someday” (2003)], Jason Michael Webb [“How Great, How Awesome” (2002, St. Philip’s Church, Harlem)], Marvin Curtis [“Pour Out Your Spirit” (2002, St. Philip’s Church, Harlem)], Robert Ray ["Gospel Magnificat" (2000, St. Mark's Church in-the- Bowery)], William Foster McDaniel ["Don't Go 'Round" (1999, Terrence Cardinal Cooke Center)], Linda Twine ["A Song of Unity" (1998, Americas Society)], Howard Roberts ["The Dunbar Lyrics (1998, St. Mark's Church in-the- Bowery)], Leon Roberts ["The Coming"(1996, St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery)], Coleridge Taylor Perkinson ["Buked Again" (1994, Schomburg Center)], David Baker ["Status Symbol" (1994, Schomburg Center)], Lena McLin ["Free at Last: Portrait of Martin Luther King" (1994, Schomburg Center)], Dianne Reeves ["Passageway" (1993, The Riverside Church)], and Baikida Carroll ["He Will Never Let You Down" (1991, St. Philip's Church, Harlem)].

Each year Rejoicensemble! sponsors a Community Concert Series in which the ensemble performs at metropolitan New York City area community centers, senior citizen homes and schools. Other community appearances by Rejoicensemble! include the African Burial Ground Ceremonies (1994), The Harlem Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS (1993), and the Cathedral of St. John Divine's Martin Luther King Convocation (1993 & 1992). Recordings by Rejoicensemble! are A Sacred Jazz Requiem: Strong and Graceful Oaks (REJ Music REJD9901), Spirit and Truth (REJ Music REJD9601).

Other notable Rejoicensemble! appearances and programs include 2003 Williamstown (MA) Jazz Festival, 2003 “Songs of King” National Tour, and the Fuji Jazz Festival (1991 & 1992) with Rejoicensemble’s most distinguished alumna Dianne Reeves.

St. Bartholomew’s Senior Girl Choristers is an ensemble of the St. Bartholomew’s Boy and Girl Choristers formed in 1996. The Choristers have recorded twice on the Pro Organo label, as well as on Atlantic Records with the Tran-Siberian Orchestra (1998), on Ethereal records with St. Bartholomew’s Choir (1997), and for Fuji Television, Japan (1998). At St. Bartholomew’s they have sung with Jessye Norman, the American Boychoir, the Boy’s Choir of Harlem, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. In Summer 2002 they embarked on a tour of England, singing at Canterbury, Salisbury, Portsmouth, and Southwark Cathedrals. They also have sung at Washington National Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Vermont, Old Christ Church, Philadelphia, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, and others. They have appeared on CBS’s Early Show, NBC’s Today Show, and ABC's Good Morning America.

2.  REVIVE US AGAIN Carl MaultsBy and Rejoicensemble. Featuring Gospel Favorites from Playing Gospel Piano: The Basics.

These twelve gospel hymns promise to revive you as Carl MaultsBy and his professional Rejoicensemble! capture the sincerity of Fanny Crosby's "Near the Cross" and lead you to exuberant heights in "We're Marching to Zion." Contemporary gospel aficionados will delight in Edwin Hawkins's "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" and Mr. MaultsBy's own "God is Love."

Originally intended as an accompanying CD of examples of the notated arrangements in Playing Gospel Piano: The Basics by Carl MaultsBy, Revive Us Again offers gospel music fans authentic renditions of many old favorites for pleasurable listening. Recorded at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in New York City by Mark Dann Recording.

Playlist:
This Little Light of Mine
When We All Get to Heaven
Near the Cross
God is Love
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Come, Ye Disconsolate
Revive Us Again
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
There Is a Fountain
Lift Him Up
On Christ the Solid Rock
We're Marching to Zion

Carl MaultsBy is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of Rejoicensemble!, a not-for-profit chamber vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance, preservation, and development of African American sacred music and to developing and showcasing the works of contemporary African American composers. He holds degrees in Jazz/Commercial Composition, Music, and Mathematics. He has conducted choirs for the Harry Belafonte World Tours. He is active as a composer, arranger, clinician, and conductor.

3.  STRONG AND GRACEFUL OAKS A Sacred Jazz Requiem: Strong and Graceful Oaks CARL MAULTSBY, Composer & Conductor

1-Requiem 5:24
2-Kyrie/I Am Resurrection 7:07
3-Beauty for Ashes 5:33
4-I Will Lift Mine Eyes Unto the Hills 2:23
5-The Word 5:53
6-Hear Us, Lord/Holy, Holy, Holy 8:42
7-The Lord's Prayer 2:34
8-Give Rest, O Christ, to Your Servant 4:36
9-Jesus Is Waiting 3:03

Artists Rejoicensemble!
Priscilla Baskerville, soprano
LaTanya Hall, mezzo soprano
Paula Tann, alto
Kenneth Harmon, tenor
Lynn Randolph, tenor
Michael Neal, baritone
Bertie Ray III, baritone
Ben Brown, contrabass
Frank Derrick III, drums
Doug Harris, soprano saxophone
Gail Hightower, bassoon
Ron Metcalf, pianoforte


Playlist:
This Little Light of Mine
When We All Get to Heaven
Near the Cross
God is Love
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Come, Ye Disconsolate
Revive Us Again
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
There Is a Fountain
Lift Him Up
On Christ the Solid Rock
We're Marching to Zion

A SAC R ED JAZZ R EQUI EM: "STRONG AND GRACE FUL OAKS "
I s a i a h 6 1 : 3


Carl MaultsBy wrote “A Sacred Jazz Requiem: Strong and Graceful Oaks” as a tribute to Darren Williams, a casualty of AIDS and a six year veteran of MaultsBy’s vocal group, Rejoicensemble! Strong and Graceful Oaks is a concert requiem scored for soprano, alto, tenor, bass, men's chorus, piano, contra-bass, drums, bassoon and soprano sax. Written primarily in the jazz style, the work uses musical elements based on African and Gregorian chant, gospel, contemporary inspirational and conservatory compositional techniques.

The opening movement, "Requiem" uses the text of the Roman Catholic Latin Mass for the Dead. The subsequent libretto is from the Episcopal Church Burial of the Dead, Rite II, as well as from various translations of Biblical text. The title is from the Old Testament reading, Isaiah 61:3: "...for God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks, for His own glory." The Latin text, the chants and the various musical styles are symbolic of the connection, spiritual and spatial, between God and man; it also is symbolic of the continuum of time and life eternal.

The first performance of the work was given at St. Peter's Church, Citicorp Center, September 20, 1992, as part of a series of 4 concert/forums for AIDS awareness. The series culminated with a performance by Rejoicensemble! and a 20 voice male chorus at Caanan Baptist Church, October 1, 1992, as part of the Harlem Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS now known as Balm in Gilead.

Subsequent performances were given by Rejoicensemble as well as The Riverside Chamber Singers of The Riverside Church, New York, NY, Helen Cha-Pio, conductor.