Poem goes choral at DMACC

“Candles in the Window” is a poem by DMACC professor Judith Hauser that is being performed as a choral piece on April 28 by the DMACC choir in the Building 6 auditorium at 7 p.m. This is Hauser’s first poem that is being performed as a choral piece and is free admission for everyone.

Hauser has written poems before but this is the first time she has had one made into a choral piece.

In creating poems, Hauser said that “a lot of times, the inspiration for poems come from words or phrases that pop into my head.”

For this particular poem, the inspiration came about for Hauser when, “One day I was driving along and ‘Candles in the Window’ popped into my head, and I wondered where I could take that in terms of a poem.”

The words used in the poem were inspired from phrases Hauser has heard before but never said a particular way.

“I’ve always heard the expression ‘Peace to you, love to you,’ but I’ve never heard the words ‘through you.’”

Hauser also said that the message of the poem is hope.

“When things are dark and dreary and on the horizon you see ‘Candles in the Window.’” These types of inspirational messages are helpful to people and also helped inspire Hauser to create the poem.

While the poem was not originally intended to be commissioned into a song, Hauser was determined after recognizing its potential.

“I got done with the poem and I made music in my head to the refrain and said ‘Yeah that’s going to work,’ but I didn’t know how to do the first part of the poem, I only knew how to do the stanza at the end.”

Then Hauser started talking to different choral directors to get the poem commissioned into a choral piece.

“I talked to the choral director at Drake, I talked to the director at Ankeny Community Chorus, and I said, ‘Could you set me up with a composer?’ But nobody bit.”

After three years of waiting to hear back from anyone, she heard from the choral director for DMACC at the time Aaron Powell, that he knew a composer at Simpson college Dr. Michael Patterson. After getting in contact with Patterson, Hauser heard back from him that he would compose it and he wrote it last summer.

The piece was specifically commissioned by DMACC’s Arts and Sciences department for the DMACC choir.

Hauser said, “It’s a one of a kind work for a specific group instead of writing a song and getting it published, it’s taken into consideration for the DMACC choir which is really special.”

Jim Loos is a Professor of Music at DMACC and the choir director for “Candles in the Window.”

The piece also features a solo part which will be performed by Simon Estes who is a guest lecturer at DMACC and a world renowned opera singer.

You can witness the performance of “Candles in the Window” by the DMACC choir on April 28 in the Building 6 auditorium at 7 p.m.

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