We Are Called

for cello and piano, (2015)

Denise Ro, cello
Robert McDonald, piano

World premiere performance at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Austin, TX.

Program Note

We Are Called was commissioned by pianist Robert McDonald and premiered as part of a fundraising concert to provide financial support for a mission trip to Central Asia through the Austin Stone Community Church. The piece is very lyrical and explores various piano extended techniques like harmonics and playing on the strings inside the piano. The narrative of these four movements outlines a speculative trajectory for a secular person who begins to believe in God, as well as the path of a worker in the mission field. They both begin with prayer, encounter an unrevealed heart(s), and experience grace that saves. In the third movement, the cello quotes the “Victory” hymn by Palestrina, also known as “The Strife is O’er, the Battle Done.” The final movement is titled Ephesians 2:8, which states “For by grace you have been saved by faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (ESV)