Into the Light


16:00. Chorus & orchestra.

Instrumental parts will be available on rental from the publisher. Contact us for rental details.


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About the Work

Commissioned by Valparaiso University in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (1517-2017). Christopher M. Cock, conductor, Valparaiso University Chorale, and director of the Bach Institute. Funded through the Hoermann-Koch Sacred Music Endowment at Valparaiso University.

**This work will be available for performances after November of 2017.**
The Story:
The Reformation was a pivotal event in the history of Western culture and created waves of change across Europe that spread to the rest of the world — the impact of which is still being felt (and studied) today.

Commemorating an historical event with a work of art, especially 500 years later, is no small feat — there are centuries of complexities to unpack and the event itself cannot be summed-up in a 15-minute musical work. Rather than create a museum piece for the Reformation, I asked myself what reforming means in our world today: What are the major issues plaguing our world and what is their cause? Who has addressed these issues through their work and their words (in the vein of Martin Luther)? How can I address these issues through a musical work for chorus and orchestra in a meaningful way?

To find the right texts, I scoured through hundreds of writings by individuals who I consider reformers — those who have worked to improve their community, their country, and/or the world. Along the way, I also discovered the book “The Witness of Religion in an Age of Fear” by Michael Kinnamon. Kinnamon addresses fear and how it has infiltrated our culture and causes many of the issues we face including institutional racism, xenophobia, cultural divisions, and fear of “the other.” Many of the writings that I collected also speak to this negative power of fear and how we must work to move beyond it.

The chorale is a staple of the Lutheran movement and I wanted it to be an important element of this work. I am especially inspired by the writers/reformers whose texts I’ve used — knowing their stories, struggles, and successes provides such depth and greatly influences the music. I encourage you and your students to delve into their lives and work in order to fully grasp the meaning of their words.

It is my hope that this new work, “Into the Light,” allows us to be immersed in the wisdom of some of the most important and influential reformers in history, and challenges us to consider how we can move beyond fear and onto a path of love, compassion, and kindness.
Coming soon.
Full Score:
Coming soon.
Duration: 16:00
Premiere: September 30, 2017. Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN.


Come out into the universe of light.
Everything in the universe is yours,
stretch out your arms and embrace it with love.
(Swami Vivekananda)

You are a product of your thoughts. What you think, you become.


The only lightless dark is the night of ignorance.
We differ from one another, not in our senses,
but in the use we make of them.
(Helen Keller)


The ice under us is very thin, and is made weak by the warm fogs of fear.
(Frederick Douglass)

We are driven by love or by fear.
I fear you, for I do not know you.
(After Martin Luther King Jr.)

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.
(John the Evangelist)


The soul is made of love and must ever return to love.
There is nothing so wise,
nor so beautiful,
nor so strong as love.
(Mechthild von Magdeburg)

Above all, love.
(Peter the Apostle)

I shed my words on the earth
as the tree sheds its leaves.
Let my thoughts unspoken
flower into kindness.
(Rabindranath Tagore, adapt. Runestad)


We are not yet what we shall be,
but we are growing toward it.
(Martin Luther)

Come out into the universe of light.
Everything in the universe is yours,
stretch out your arms and embrace it with love.
(Swami Vivekananda)


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