Meetin' Here Tonight

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Meetin’ Here Tonight

Much, if not most, of the choral music sung in the western world in the last millennium, has been inspired by and written for the Christian Church. Like nearly all choirs, Chor Leoni has sung and enjoyed this treasure trove of choral masterpieces by the likes of Byrd, Bach, Handel, and virtually all of the ‘classical’ composers.

Many of our audience and singers have also enjoyed performing and hearing Christian music written not for the concert hall, or great cathedral, but by and for ordinary people. Partly at our listeners’ request, and partly for our own enjoyment, we put together a collection of hymns and spirituals for our spring 2009 concert. The wildly enthusiastic, standing-room-only response to those performances inspired us to make this CD.

So here is (we hope) your favourite men’s choir, singing songs written by and for ministers, congregations, believers, workers, slaves, and just plain folk. Many of them sung first, and only written down later. This was music originally heard not in concert halls or cathedrals but in country churches, cotton fields, ghettos, and – at ‘meetin’s.’

We invite you to sit back and let these beloved old songs and spirituals wash over you. May they bring you back to less complicated times when people shared through common song their joys, their pain, and their hopes.

Track List

  1. There’s a Meetin’ Here Tonight music and text: traditional, arr. Ron Smail
  2. Shall We Gather at the River music and text: Robert Lowry
  3. Hard Times music and text: Stephen Foster, arr. Willi Zwozdesky
  4. All Beautiful the March of Days music: traditional, harm. Ralph Vaughan Williams, text: Frances Whitmarsh Wile
  5. Not One Sparrow is Forgotten music and text: Shaker hymn, arr. William Hawley
  6. Precious Lord music: Thomas A. Dorsey after George N. Allen, arr. Diane Loomer, text: Thomas A. Dorsey
  7. Eternal Father, Strong to Save music: John B. Dykes, arr. Paul Sjolund, text: William Whiting
  8. Goin’ Home music: Antonin Dvořák, arr. Diane Loomer, text: William Arms Fisher
  9. Nobody Knows the Trouble I See music and text: spiritual, arr. Roland Pack
  10. Blessed Assurance music: Phoebe P. Knapp, arr. Ken Cormier, text: Frances J. Crosby
  11. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot music and text: spiritual
  12. In Dat Great Gittin’ Up Mornin’ music and text: spiritual, arr. Jester Hairston
  13. Witness music and text: spiritual, arr. Jack Halloran, Jonathan Quick
  14. All Through the Night music: traditional Welsh, arr. Mack Wilberg, text: Sir Harold Boulton, alt.
  15. In the Garden music and text: C. Austin Miles, adapt. Charles H. Webb
  16. Wehrlos und verlassen music: William Warren Bentley, text: Mary Dagworthy James, trans. Carl Röhl
  17. Abide with Me music: William Henry Monk, text: Henry Francis Lyte
  18. Over Yonder music and text: spiritual, arr. Diane Loomer
  19. Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal music and text: traditional, arr. Alice Parker
  20. Ain’-A That Good News! music and text: spiritual, arr. William L. Dawson


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  1. We ‘Church types’ especially, are much indebted to Chor Leoni for bringing your special artistry to the performance of the much loved traditional sacred numbers included in Meetin’ Here Tonight. With Diane Loomer’s direction one senses a feeling for this music and we gain a renewed appreciation for its inspirational qualities. I was fortunate in being able to record the original broadcast on the CBC. I miss some of the numbers that I understand had to be edited for the CD, which leads me to wonder (probably forlornly) if another ‘Meetin” might include these and other (some classical?) sacred numbers. Anyway, thank you so much and may we coninue to be blessed through your music making!

    —Doug Pratt |
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