Duration: 6 minutes

Instrumentation: piano and SATB choir (see Let the Word Go Forth for orchestral instrumentation)

Program Note: 

For the National President's Day Choral Festival, Gary R. Schwartzhoff, artistic director and conductor, honoring John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, as commissioned by Music Celebrations International, John Wiscombe, President

I. Inauguration

We observe today a celebration of freedom, signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath that our forebears prescribed.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his hands the power to abolish poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe--the belief that the rights of man come from the hand of God.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to ensure the survival of liberty.

Let the word go forth from this time and place, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us. Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Let both sides unite to let the oppressed go free.

The trumpet summons us again. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Ask what we can do for the freedom of man. (from JFK Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961)

Score available from COLLA VOCE