Photo of William Campbell, Ph.D.
October 5, 2017

Saint Martin's University announces the Sacred Music concerts and the visit of composer William Campbell, Ph.D.

LACEY, Wash. – Before Saint Martin’s University celebrates All Saints’ Day and the Feast of Saint Martin of Tours with its annual Sacred Music concerts on campus, the Saint Martin’s University Chorale will perform Sacred Music concerts at St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m., and at Church of the Immaculate Conception in Roslyn on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 2:30 p.m. The concerts in Yakima and Roslyn are free and open to the public.

Later in October, the Saint Martin’s Chorale will perform two free public concerts, the first at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, and the second at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22. Both concerts are at Saint Martin’s Abbey Church, 5000 Abbey Way, SE. Doors open 15 minutes before the concert. No reservations are necessary, and both concerts are free. The concert is a collaboration of the University’s music department, Office of Campus Ministry and Benedictine Institute. The tradition began 15 years ago as a way of honoring the University’s patron saint, Saint Martin of Tours, whose feast day is Nov. 11.

“The Sacred Music concerts include Renaissance music, gospel, and contemporary music,” says Darrell Born, associate professor of music and Saint Martin’s Chorale director. “Readings and poetry will be interspersed throughout the concert to punctuate the performances.”

This year’s Sacred Music concerts will also coincide with the visit of William Campbell, Ph.D., professor of music and chair of the music department at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Campbell will be an artist-in-residence at Saint Martin’s from Oct. 16 – 28, and during his visit he will work with music composition students, deliver lectures about music in film to communications classes, meet with faculty and participate in Music @ Noon performances.

Campbell is a composer, performer and teacher. He has been awarded with honors of scholarship and teaching from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Oregon and Pima Community College, and in 2011 was inducted as a Salpointe Catholic High School Distinguished Alumni (Tucson, AZ). Composition awards include multiple ASCAPPlus Awards, the Penfield Music Commission Project Composition Prize (2006), a Waging Peace International Composition Special Honor (2003), a Tucson/Pima Arizona Arts Fellowship (1999) and the 1995 Jim Highsmith Award from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for his orchestral work, Sinfonietta. In 2011 the Kennedy Center American Collegiate Theater Festival awarded his original score for a new adaptation for Oedipus Rex. Campbell is a member of ASCAP and CCLI, the American Composers Forum, and a past board member of the Iowa Composers Forum. He earned degrees from the University of Arizona (B.M.), the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (M.M.), and the University of Oregon (Ph.D.). His dissertation was Earth Mass, a contemporary ecological, liturgical expression. He has led contemporary music at churches for over 20 years, and is the coordinator of contemporary music at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa. A passionate educator, he teaches music theory, composition, technology and world music classes to future composers and musicians.  Previously at Pima Community College and Missouri State University, he is currently Professor of Music Theory & Composition, and Chair of the Music Department at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, where he has been on faculty since 2005.

The Sacred Music concerts will include performances of pieces from Campbell’s repertoire, including “The Benediction” and “Among the Trees.” “The Benediction” is based on the “Priestly Blessing,” which comes from Numbers 6:23-27, and Born explained that “Among the Trees” is focused on “rest, peace and balance in creation.”

Saint Martin’s will also serve as the venue for the debut of a special collaboration between Campbell, Born, and Nathalie Kuroiwa-Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor of English and the director of the writing center and writing minor. “Songs of Cloak and Light,” a song cycle with lyrics by Kuroiwa-Lewis and music by Campbell and Born, will be performed during the Music @ Noon concerts and the faculty recital during Campbell’s visit.

Kuroiwa-Lewis spoke about the genesis of the lyrics for the piece and what inspired her work. “I was always interested in the legend of Saint Martin and the legend of the beggar. I drew on that legend, and then I’m always very much enamored with the nature of the Pacific Northwest. So the lyrics are very much a celebration of nature and in honor of Saint Martin of Tours,” she said. “And I wrote it for Saint Martin’s University. I think that everyone at Saint Martin’s really puts their heart and their life into their work. It inspires me. I was thinking of the monks, the staff, the faculty, and students, everyone here. I would like to honor people for what they do.”

The title of the piece, “Songs of Cloak and Light,” is a reference to the life of Saint Martin of Tours, the saint for whom the University is named. Saint Martin lived during the early fourth century and was a Roman soldier as a young man. Legend has it that while in Gaul (now France), he chanced upon a shivering beggar one bitter day, and with nothing else to give him, split his heavy wool cloak in two, giving half to the beggar. Later, he saw a vision of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he’d given the beggar. After Martin’s conversion to Christianity, he became a monk, known for his care of the sick, needy and downtrodden, something he continued to do even after his election as bishop of Tours, France.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing­ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic­tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 340 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

For additional information:

Darrell Born
Associate Professor of Music

Nathalie Kuroiwa-Lewis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English

Kevin Hyde
Media Relations Manager