We the People (original title: Jargon) (1987)

The Story of the American Constitution for Narrator, Chorus and Orchestra
Text by Mary (Duren) Medrick

Duration:  15 minutes
Narrator, Chorus (opt.), 2(pic)222/422.btbn.1/timp.3perc/pf/str

Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment

Premiere Performance:  July 5, 1987; Bowdoin Festival Orchestra and Chorus;
Edmund Muskie, Narrator; RXR, Conductor


We the People is an inspiring account of the writing of the American Constitution. The text uses stirring quotes from Benjamin Franklin and excerpts from the Constitution itself, along with other historical accounts of the day.  The choral passages include the sounds of Philadelphia’s Fourth of July celebration of 1787, with cheering crowds, artillery and marching bands.  Prominent use is made of 18th - Century American tunes, including three choral settings by William Billings and Benjamin Franklin’s own string quartet, composed for open strings.