Walk Forth Securely was commissioned by Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania on the occasion of the institution being granted University status. The oboe and keyboard duet opening foreshadow themes of “Walk forth securely” and “never abandon” that will be echoed by the voices later in the work. The inclusion of macaronic text (optional Latin on the chorus) speaks to the timelessness of the message while honoring the tradition of the female Medieval poetic source.
Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) is noted for contribution to female Medieval poet as well as being a Saint. The text for Walk Forth Securely is taken from the second of four letters to Agnes of Prague between 1235-1238. Clare is known as one of the first followers of St. Francis and the founder of the order of the Poor Clares. This piece commemorates the 800th anniversary of Clare entering religious life. The composer has made a poetic setting from his own translation of the original Latin text in hopes that it will shed a modern perspective on this nearly 800 year-old text. At Neumann University, we have come to rely on Clare’s words and consider them among the most powerful of messages to share with others, particularly our students as we encounter them. – Dr. Rosalie Mirenda, President – Neumann University.