After listening to this new recording a few times, it became clear to me that Gjeilo's music has a magical way of resonating with with avid choral enthusiasts and part-time fans alike. His music is sincere, not overly complex, and always seems to have a way of penetrating deep into the spirit of those listening.
I remember my very first experience with an Ola Gjeilo score. I was a first-year teacher at Freedom High School in Orlando, FL, and the students were practically revolting against my music selections so far that year. That all would change almost immediately after we began digging into Gjeilo's Ubi Caritas. They would beg to go out into our reverberant hallway to sing the opening chorale over and over again. Those kids were hooked and I am certain that we sang that opening hundreds of times!
After talking with Gjeilo, I decided to call a few former students to test my theory about his music. I wanted to see just how impactful those moments were 8 years ago when they were first introduced to his compositions. So I dialed two of the biggest choir geeks from that year at Freedom High School (full disclosure: I had a roomful of choir geeks at FHS) and began questioning them about some of the music we sang during the 2008-09 school year.
What I discovered was completely shocking!
To hear what the students said about Ola Gjeilo's music in this week's episode of Sing To Inspire, click the audio player above. To see Decca's sampler video of the new CD, please scroll to the bottom of this feature.
#SingToInspire Performance of the Week
The Ground - Ola Gjeilo
Chamber Orchestra of London, performer
Ola Gjeilo, piano
Thomas Gould, leader of Chamber Orchestra of London
Nigel Short, conductor of Tenebrae
#SingToInspire Picture of the Week