Monday, August 6, 2018
Event Title: For Those Who Died Trying
  • Region: Ontario
  • Venue / Location: Gathering Hall, Mount Pleasant Cemetery - 375 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto
  • Time: 5:00pm
  • Price: $Free
  • Genre: Strings (bowed)
  • External Link: More Info
  • Composer: Frank Horvat
  • Composition: --
  • Community Profile: --

Part concert, part photo exhibit, part memorial to Thailand Human Rights Defenders. This world premiere concert, by Mivos Quartet, presents a musical elegy for 37 victims who were killed or went missing because of their efforts to stop powerful interests who wanted to destroy their community's environment.

Composition Date: 2014
Duration: 00:18:00
Genre: Choral (9 + Voices), With Full Orchestra


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Baritone
  • 1 x Men's chorus
  • 1 x Full orchestra
Click here to download full work (17.61 Mb - Not printable)

Programme Note:
Wellington Murray Dennis was born and grew up in Maplewood, Ontario, near the town of Stratford. After moving to the Saskatoon area he enlisted in the 5th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry. Murray trained in England and fought in France, dying during the battle of Amiens. During his time in both England and France, Murray wrote letters about his experiences to his fiancée, Margaret Munro, who lived in Stratford. This new work, Our Murray, is a short oratorio created from extracts of Murray's letters to his fiancée and the letters of condolence from Margaret's family. The first movement, England (Dreams), features a baritone solo and male chorus, and depicts Murray's experience in England. His letters from the training camps are full of observations of daily life that present his fiancée, Margaret, with an optimistic picture. His observations are mixed together with his hopes and dreams for their future together after the war and his longing to return to Margaret’s side. The music switches back and forth between bucolic optimism, introspection and a passionate longing for distant love. It ends with a foreboding motif in the basses, anticipating what is yet to it come.The second movement, France (Battle), portrays Murray’s experience at the front lines of the war. In his letters, Murray gives very few details of the conflict and prefers to dwell on his past experiences with Margaret. The baritone and chorus present an anxious picture of Murray’s experiences interspersed with mental retreats to the dream world that sustains him. After some tense anticipation, Murray’s final battle begins. The battle of Amien, in August of 1917, marked a turning point in the war where the Canadian forces burst out of the static positions of trench warfare and advance rapidly. According to an eyewitness account, it was in such a burst, that Murray was struck in the head by shrapnel and died instantly. He had advanced only a few hundred yards. The chorus recounts these events as Murray’s battle dramatically ends.The final movement, Stratford (Memorial), has the chorus, alone, intone the words of the telegram that reached the home of Margaret Munro on August ninth, 1918. One can imagine Margaret reading the words again and again as their full meaning sinks in. Letters of condolence arrive from family members, praising Margaret’s sacrifice, Murray’s valour, and wishing strength and courage through faith. Overwhelming emotion fades away and the orchestra grows quiet, leaving the chorus with a remembrance of Murray’s words from France: Here’s a goodnight kiss. -Chris Meyer, October 3, 2014

Premiere Information:
15 November 2014, Knox Presbyterian Church, Stratford, Ontario
Canadian Mens Chorus; Gregory Rainville, conductor; Stratford Symphony Orchestra; Judith Yan, conductor


  • Call Number:
  • MV 6400 M612our
  • Genre:
  • Choral (9 + Voices), With Full Orchestra
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • October 20, 2016
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • Score
    55 Pages
    Height: 43 cm
    Width: 28 cm
    Parts page count: 86
    17 Parts
  • Language Information
  • Main language: English
  • Additional Information:
  • Commissioned by: Stratford Symphony Orchestra
    Has accompanying PowerPoint presentation
    I. England (Dreams) -- II. France (Battle) -- III. Stratford (Memorial)
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Click here to listen to Our Murray oratorio for baritone solo, male chorus, and orchestra in Centrestreams.

Available Products for this piece:

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Our Murray oratorio for baritone solo, male chorus, and orchestra by Christopher Meyer (Score)
Printed on demand
Our Murray oratorio for baritone solo, male chorus, and orchestra: Score
(downloadable PDF)
Our Murray oratorio for baritone solo, male chorus, and orchestraYou can obtain a paper copy of this work for:
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Harry Freedman - An Appreciation

August 22, 2012

An article in memory of Harry Freedman, written by Walter Pitman.

Click here to read.

Related Composers: Harry Freedman