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Celebrate Through Music the Building of a More Perfect Union

Schiller Institute Concert

Houston, Texas
February 13, 2016

Video Playlist
Welcome & Introduction 0:00
Star Spangled Banner 5:59
Lift Every Voice and Sing 10:58
Jesu, Meine Freude - Est Ist Nun Nicht 15:02
You May Bury Me In De Eas' 20:00
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 22:24
Soon Ah Will Be Done 25:49
I Am Thinking of a City Called Heaven 30:18
When I Was Sinkin Down 34:27
Ain't That a Witness 38:50
Deep River 42:06
Go Down, Moses 45:13
Balm In Gilead 48:48

Program in PDF format

On Building A More Perfect Union... 

As the namesake of the Schiller Institute, the German poet and playwright Friedrich Schiller, said, “It is through beauty that one proceeds to freedom.” Only truly great art can pierce through the walls built up by cynical experience and ennoble our souls with the sweet language of beauty. Great music speaks to the better angels of our nature. This is why we sing, and why you are invited to join our community chorus.

Today’s concert overlaps Presidents’ Day weekend, the Chinese New Year, and Black History Month. We dedicate today’s proceedings to three immortal figures from these theaters of history who devoted their lives to the united cause of human freedom: President Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, and Frederick Douglass. President Abraham Lincoln embodied Agape, the “strength to love.” He gave his all so that his nation, “Shall have a new birth of freedom.” Frederick Douglass, former slave and towering intellect, joined Lincoln: “Right is of no sex, truth is of no color, God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren.” Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, the father of modern China, adopted Lincoln’s principle, “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from this Earth,” as the basis of his own Three Principles, and inspired the rebuilding of his nation.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen taught us, “The revival of ancient classical learning is equal in importance to the regeneration of old moral values.” Throughout history, enslaved peoples have used song to fan the embers of their humanity, as they sought to attain freedom. This was as true for the slave of the southern plantation system as it is for anyone. Singing kept these people alive spiritually, and became also a code for when and how to escape slavery, as well as an inspiration to future generations. Following Emancipation by President Abraham Lincoln, the Negro spirituals were written down and arranged into an uniquely American form of Classical music, through a collaboration among Czech composer Antonin Dvorák and musicians such as Harry Burleigh, Hall Johnson, and Roland Hayes. These early Classical spirituals speak to the solemn and sacred quality within us all, that cannot be enslaved.



The Star Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key, arr. by U.S. Army                                                              


Lift Every Voice and Sing

James Weldon Johnson                                                                                  


Selections from BWV 227 (see translation)

J.S. Bach

              Jesu, Meine Freude                                                                        

              Est Ist Nun Nichts                                                                          


You May Bury Me in de Eas’

Harry T. Burleigh                                                                                         


Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Hall Johnson                                                                                                  


Soon Ah Will Be Done

William L. Dawson                                                                                        


City Called Heaven

Hall Johnson                                                                                                  


When I Was Sinkin’ Down

Arr. by Hall Johnson                                                                                      



Arr. by Hall Johnson                                                                                      


Deep River

Arr. by Hall Johnson                                                                                       


Go Down Moses

Arr. by Harry T. Burleigh                                                                                













Joe Jennings,

Evelyn Lantz, Piano


Kesha Rogers

Evelyn Lantz, Piano





Kesha Rogers






Dorceal Duckens






Dorceal Duckens

Marsha Bowen, Piano





Dorceal Duckens



Marsha Bowen, Jacqueline Carpenter, Connie Carr, Sylvia Spaniolo



Evelyn Lantz, Nina Peropoulos, Kesha Rogers



Brian Lantz, Ian Overton, Peter Peropoulos



Michael Carr, Joel Dejean, Joe Jennings, Jared McCaskill




Harley Schlanger, Vice Chair, Schiller Institute, USA



Jesu, meine Freude meines Herzens Weide,
Jesu, meine Zier.


Ach wie lang! ach lange ist dem Herzen bange, und verlangt nach dir!

Gottes Lamm, mein Bräutigam, außer dir soll mir auf Erden nichts sonst liebers werden.

(Romans 8:1)

Es ist nun nichts Verdammliches an denen, die in Christo Jesu sind,

die nicht nach dem Fleische wandeln, sondern nach dem Geist.


Jesus, my joy, my heart’s pasture,
Jesus, my adornment!


Oh, how long! How long has this anxious heart yearned for you!

Lamb of God, my bridegroom, apart from you, nothing other on Earth shall become more dear to me.


There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus,


who walk not after after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

[back to program]



Dorceal Duckens has directed the chorus of the Texas chapter of the Schiller Institute for over 15 years. In this capacity he has taught the bel canto technique of singing to hundreds of people. Dorceal graduated from Prarie View A&M University with a B.A. in Vocal Performance, and an M.A. in Music Education. He has had major roles with the Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera, Michigan Opera, Texas Opera Theater, and Ebony Opera Guild, where he is a founding and charter member. Notable performances include Count Monterone, Sparafucile, and Rigoletto in Rigoletto; Marcello, and Coline in La Boheme; Papageno in The Magic Flute; Figaro in

The Marriage of Figaro; Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni; Dr. Bartolo in the Barber of Seville, and others. Mr. Duckens has helped preserve and continue the Classical musical tradition through his participation in numerous music festivals and conferences, including at the Spoletto Fesitval, in Spoletto, Italy with composer Gian Carlo Menotti; the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio, Texas; the Schiller Institute conference to “Save the African-American Spiritual” at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas; and as the bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem honoring the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, in Vienna, Virginia. Mr. Duckens says, all that he has, all that he hopes to be, and all you will hear from him today, is due to the grace of God.


Since 1988, the Schiller Institute has organized a world wide campaign to restore the proper scientific tuning pitch of the Classical composers from J.S. Bach through Johannes Brahms of C = 256 Hz (A = 432 Hz), established as law by the Italian opera composer and senator, Giuseppe Verdi. Today’s performance (as with all Schiller Institute musical performances) will be done at the proper scientific tuning, instead of the arbitrarily high “modern” tuning of A = 440 Hz. This allows the natural, full beauty of each vocal register to present itself, instead of abusing the voice for theatrical purposes.


You are invited to join this chorus! The Schiller Institute Community Chorus rehearses at the Lansdale Community Center (8201 Roos Rd. Houston, TX 77036) on Tuesdays from 6pm-8pm. People without prior singing experience are asked to arrive for group lessons in bel canto technique and solfege at 6pm. Rehearsal begins at 6:30. If you are interested, please leave your contact info in the card included with this program, or call Brian at (713) 830-9049.