Awakenings features two extraordinary works by composers from the Pioneer Valley region of Western Massachusetts: Shofar by Robert Stern, an intensely dramatic and deeply moving oratorio which we premiered in concert; and Why I Wake Early by Ronald Perera, with text drawn from the poetry of Mary Oliver.

You may purchase your copy at any of the following locations:

Read the reviews

Listen to some excerpts:

Robert Stern (b. 1934)

SHOFAR: An Oratorio in Four Parts
Catherine Madsen, Libretto

Teresa Wakim, Soprano
Jason McStoots, Tenor
David Kravitz, Bass
Donald Wilkinson, Bass

"This is a gorgeous and important work of a masterful composer...there is nothing equal to it among the Jewish works I am aware of....."

- Paulina Stark Soprano

More information about composer Robert Stern:

Read's interview with Robert Stern.

Ronald Perera (b. 1941)

WHY I WAKE EARLY: Eight Poems of Mary Oliver for Mixed Chorus, String Quartet and Piano

Lisa Brooke, Violin I
Sonja Larson, Violin II
Sandra Nortier, Viola
Reinmar Seidler, Cello
Darryl Hollister, Piano

Soloists: Joanna Taylor, Soprano; Leah Souder, Mezzo-soprano; Brian Abascal, Tenor; Kevin Verrette, Bass

"Ms. Oliver's poetry...reveals an awestruck regard of nature that verges on the religious...Enhanced by Mr. Perera's estimable knack for setting English, this is a substantial addition to the choral canon."

- The New York Times

More information about composer Ronald Perera:


Track Listing:
  1. Tekiah: Whole
  2. Shevarim: Broken
  3. Teruah: Smashed
  4. Tekiah G'dolah: Whole
  1. Morning at Great Pond
  2. Summer Poem
  3. Entering the Kingdom
  4. Rain in Ohio
  5. I Looked Up
  6. Bats
  7. White Night
  8. Why I Wake Early