To Be Certain of the Dawn


Friday, February 10, 8:00 p.m.
To Be Certain of the Dawn 
by Stephen Paulus 
with libretto by Michael Dennis Browne
Lee Nelson, conductor

“This is the task: in the darkest night to be certain of the dawn, certain of the power to turn a curse into a blessing, agony into a song. To know the monster’s rage and, in spite of it, proclaim to its face; to go through Hell and to continue to trust in the goodness of God -- this is the challenge and the way.”  —Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

To Be Certain of the Dawn was commissioned by the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis as a gift to Temple Israel Synagogue in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps.  It is the result of interfaith dialogue and stands as a testimony to the power of understanding and of music’s unique ability to encourage hope, to promote peace.   

We are approaching the rehearsal and performance of this transformative piece in an exceptionally process-driven way, with the intention of modeling the Beyond the Notes philosophy on which this conference is based.

This oratorio will be performed by choirs from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Minnesota State University, Wartburg College, and members of the Madison Boys and Girls Choirs, as well as the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, and soloists from throughout the North Central Division.