Duration ca. 9 minutes
for Vocal Octet or Chamber Choir
Commissioned by the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.
Vigilando is the name of the 111 year old Johns Hopkins Nurses Alumnae Magazine. It is the Latin verb that means, “forever watchful.” The text for this work is taken from the November, 1918 issue of Vigilando, from two sources. The first is a section called ‘Our Losses’, which is the obituary section which remembers alumna who had passed away since the last issue’s publication. It is poignant to note that at least two of the nurses listed had only graduated a few months before they had succumbed to “pneumonia following influenza.” This composition is written in memory and honor of all healthcare workers, past and present, who sacrificed selflessly to care for the ill. I am grateful to Dr. Beth Willer, the director of the Peabody Institute’s Director of Choral Studies, for this opportunity to meditate on the sacrifices of nurses during times such as these.
Kareem Roustom, January 21, 2021.