The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

Go Out! (Concert-Length Work)

A poetic and feisty tribute to liberal religion and freedom of thought

Music: Elizabeth Alexander

Words: Centuries of Strong-Minded People

If you think religious history has to be dry and dusty, think again! This concert-length work in words and song recasts the prophetic words of poets, preachers, reformers and sages as art songs, ballads, blues and spirited choral pieces. Inspired by a host of historic free thinkers, from the pensive and poetic, to the fierce and feisty, these lively and diverse offerings trace the path of liberal religion from 16th-century Germany to our present day’s rich spiritual heritage.

Highlights include a defiant protest song from the German Peasant Wars, an exuberant Transylvanian declaration of religious tolerance, an intimate portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s beneficent “Oversoul,” a sweet-and-tough blues riff on the Buddhist concept of suffering, and a praise song in praise of doubt. The title song, Go Out!, gives a rousing treatment to a visionary exhortation often attributed to 18th century Universalist minister John Murray: “Give them not hell, but hope!”

For more information about performing this concert-length work, download the Narration and Guide to Production below (SEA-107-00F).

Possible Musical Selections:
Die Gedanken Sind Frei (SATB or vocal duet)
Jó! (SSA or vocal trio)
Go Out! (SATB or vocal quintet)
The Eternal One (high, medium or low voice)
Be Grateful, My Soul (SSSAA or vocal quintet)
The Gospel Isn’t Written in the Bible Alone (high, medium or low voice)
No One gets a Program (vocal duet)
A Love Like That (high, medium or low voice)
* One More Redeemer (SATB)
* I’ll Tell You a Story, then… (high, medium or low voice)
Cherish Your Doubt (SATB or SSAA)

About adapting this work to your own forces: Some concert presenters will have plenty of soloists and small ensembles on hand, while others will be looking for a chance to showcase their choral forces. With that in mind, there’s a great deal of flexibility built into this work. In most cases, the songs are available in low, medium and high voicings. Several songs are optional, and may be performed by either a choir or small ensemble. While considering how best to perform this complete work using the forces at hand, freedom of thought is encouraged!

All music used in performances of Go Out! must be legally purchased as individual titles. The cost of music will vary according to the size of performing forces and use of optional selections.

Details and Ordering Information

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Premiere: Unity Church-Unitarian / Music Director Elizabeth Alexander (St. Paul, MN)
Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network National Conference / Music Director Elizabeth Alexander (Madison, WI)
Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist / Music Director Teresa Sandoval (Gray, TN)
West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church / Music Director Dave Blazer (Rocky River, OH)