Cheryl Anne Roach
In the Mornin' Review -
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Cheryl Anne Roach - IN THE MORNIN'

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have any being. Psalm 104:33

This scripture is my theme song. I became a Christian at an early age in Texas. The church was my main circle throughout my childhood, youth and young adulthood. Unfortunately, I broadened that circle for
a time and grew apart from the Lord. I never lost faith, but my actions did not always reflect my beliefs. I had a profound and pivotal awakening experience some years ago and felt God's powerful forgiving love and presence. I returned to my faith and my church as my core circle and seek God's will for my life on a daily basis.

This CD of sacred songs is the culmination of a
project that has been on my heart for a number of years. Some of the songs are new loves, and some are old favorites. However, they are all songs of faith. Composers and poets of all ages have communicated their spiritual yearnings through their art. My prayer is that you will hear God speak to you through these songs, no matter what the language .
- Cheryl Anne Roach

Cheryl Anne Roach

About Cheryl Anne Roach

The very gifted Cheryl Anne Roach is an accomplished, well-trained professional mezzo-soprano, who has performed as a featured artist in a variety of recitals and concerts, for such organizations as Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, the Camerata Singers of Long Beach, the Long Beach Bach Festival and the Robert Shaw Festival Singers. She has performed in operatic productions with the Los Angeles Music Center Opera and the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra.

Cheryl is also the founder of the highly acclaimed vocal ensemble, Zephyr: Voices Unbound, and was the mezzo soloist on two world premiere recordings.

Besides performing, Cheryl Anne Roach has shared her expertise by teaching and inspiring others in the music field, being on the faculty for various colleges and universities, directing church choirs, and has her own voice studio in Hermosa Beach.

* She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Arts from the University of Southern California and the Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois.


The Holy Spirit has been moving / inspiring people, in all languages to compose, perform and sing music which praises the Lord for who He is, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ since the resurrection of Jesus. This unique collection of spiritually inspiring, heart-felt classical Christian music / songs of faith which have encouraged people toward faith, encouraging their Christian walk with the Lord, treats the listener to the compositions or arrangements of Hugo Wolf, Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, Gabriel Fauré, John Carter and two of the most important American composers in the 20th century, Aaron Copland and Charles Ives.

All these gems of Christian music, and songs of faith are presented by the talented Cheryl Anne Roach, on her CD, IN THE MORNIN', brought to life for a whole new generation of people, inspiring faith and comfort in our all powerful God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The listener is enveloped by Cheryl Anne Roach's flawless, beautiful, insightful renditions of these musical treasures of the past accompanied by a gifted pianist, Pat Harpole, playing inspiring arrangements that complement Roach's fine, expressive vocals.

There are four different categories for the listener to explore, enjoy and grow spiritually, from the listening experience.


Four of these selections are arrangements of either hymns or African American Spirituals.

How Firm a Foundation - A hymn written by an unknown composer, published in Rippon's hymnal, A Selection of Hymns, dated 1787. Its words were inspired by scriptures, including Hebrews 13.5 and Isaiah 43: 1-2. These lyrics were put together with an early American melody, the harmony being added by Tabor in 1866. The piano arrangement heard on this CD was done by the American contemporary composer Richard Walters.

This traditional hymn, sung in many Christian denominations reassures believers of God's faithfulness, and His promises that can be found in the Bible, which is the firm foundation of our faith. Believers can rely on and have faith in God's promises, especially during times of trials because of the kind of God we have loving us.

In the Mornin' - A well-known African American Spiritual arranged simply in 1929 by Charles Ives, (1874 - 1954). This is a beautiful reminder of how dear a relationship with Jesus Christ is to the believer.

Lyrical Sample: In the mornin' when I rise, Give me Jesus, Twixt the cradle and the grave, Give me Jesus. You can have all the world, but give me Jesus.

The Light that is Felt - Composed by Charles Ives in 1904. The text is by Whittier.

An aspect of God's caring love for us is like a mother's love for her child.

Lyrical Sample: A tender child of summers three, at night, while seeking her little bed, Paused on the dark stair timidly, Oh, mother, take my hand, said she, And then the dark will all be light.

We older children grope our way from dark behind to dark before; And only when our hands we lay in Thine, O God! then the night is day, and there is darkness never more.

At the River - (Shall We Gather at the River) - Hymn arranged by Aaron Copeland. Lyrics by Robert Lowry (1864) Based on Rev. 22:1 -5. "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the lamb."

Music is solemn, calm, comforting, composed to offer solace at times of loss of loved ones. A hymn which encourages believers to look forward to being in Heaven by the River of Life where all believers will gather some day.

The Gospel of Grace (Unique combination of the hymn AMAZING GRACE & African American Spiritual I'M NEW BORN AGAIN) Arranged by Mark Hayes.

Cheryl Anne Roach once again flawlessly gives an inspired performance of this unique combination of the favorite American hymn of praise, hope and faith, AMAZING GRACE and African American Spiritual, I'M NEWBORN AGAIN. The two songs are blended seamlessly together in this wonderful piano arrangement, by Mark Hayes, composed in the gospel style. It's played perfectly by the versatile Pat Harpole.

AMAZING GRACE - Lyrics were written in 1779, by an ex-slave trader, John Newton, after his dramatic conversion and acceptance of Jesus as his Savior, a gift of God's grace, offered to anyone who believes, despite their past. In 1900, Newton's lyrics were combined with an American melody by Edwin O. Excell.

Lyrical Sample: Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see.

I'M NEWBORN AGAIN - An African American Spiritual, which is a high spirited, high energy toe tapper, celebrating being saved through Jesus Christ, being born again.

Lyrical Sample: I found free grace and dying love, I'm new born again, been a long time a'talkin' 'bout my trials here below. Free grace, sinner, I'm new born again. So glad, I'm new born again.


Original texts were by Ocana / Emanuel Geibel / translated into German by Paul Heyse. Written by Hugh Wolf, during 1889 -1890, during an era when 19th century German romantics were eager for poetry from all lands, especially Spanish ones.

Nun wandre Maria - Ocana / Paul Heyse - (Now Onward Mary) - (Personal favorite of this reviewer). Piano music flows in thirds like a river, steady beat, like a person on a journey. Minor key.

Joseph's encouraging words to Mary, bolstered her faith as they travel toward Bethlehem. Mary was very pregnant, which was very hard physically and mentally. Joseph's strong faith in what the angel of the Lord told him, helps the struggling couple on their long journey to Bethlehem.

Lyrical Sample: Sung in German (From English translation offered in the CD program)

3) Well, I can see that thy strength is failing, that you can scarcely overcome your suffering. Courage! We shall surely find shelter here. Already the cocks are crowing, and the village is near.

Die ihr schwebet (You who hover around) - Mary singing her request to the angels watching over her and the sleeping child, asking them to quiet the wind. Mary has faith that the Lord will protect and take care of them, and will listen to her concerns. The third verse predicts his life's mission, to carry the sins of the world to the cross. Piano arrangement depicts the swirling, cold wind as it blows the trees, in a continuous flow of notes.

Lyrical Sample: Sung in German (From English translation offered in the CD program)

1) You who hover around these palm trees in the night and the wind, you holy angels, quiet the tree tops! My child slumbers

3) The holy infant, bears many burdens, how tired he was, with the sorrows, of the earth. Now gently soothed in sleep, his suffering is allayed. Quiet the tree-tops! My child slumbers.

Ach, des Knaben Augen (Ah, the boy's eyes) - A faith inspired by personal contact with the boy Jesus, noticing something spiritually special while looking into the boy Jesus's eyes. His Deity was seen in Him from an early age. Knowing Jesus Christ, having a personal relationship with Him, strengthens one's spiritual resolve to stay in His will for our lives, walking on the narrow path with Him.

Music - Ternary rhythm, flowing, major key.

Lyrical Sample: Sung in German (From English translation offered in the CD program)

1) Ah, the boy's eyes look, as serene and beautiful, and something shines forth from them, that wins my whole heart.

2) ...So I will give myself up entirely to him and only do the bidding of his eyes, for something shines forth from them that wins my whole heart.

Herr, was trägt der Boden hier (Lord, what will this soil bring forth) - Sorrowful arrangement -

One Interpretation: A disciple of Jesus is talking with Jesus in the Garden, right before his arrest. Jesus predicts that his upcoming suffering, humiliation symbolized by the thorns, will result in something wonderful for believers, forgiveness and eternal life, symbolized by the flowers.

Music conveys the concern and worry of the disciple, in minor, dissonant chords, as he asks his questions. The music becomes calm, and centered when Jesus answers the questioner, knowing what his Father's will is and what will be the result. His sacrifice will result in salvation and eternal life for all people who believe. This piece ends on a positive, major chord, in a calm and peaceful manner.

Lyrical Sample: Sung In German (From English translation offered in the CD program)

1) Disciple: Lord, what will this soil bring forth, which you so bitterly water with your tears? Jesus: Thorns, dear heart for me, and for you the flowers' beauty.

2) O my Lord, for whose adornment shall the wreaths be wound? Tell Me! Jesus: Those of thorns will be for me, those flowers I give to you.

Mühvoll komm'ich und beladen (Sorrow-laden and oppressed with care I come) -

One Interpretation: A person in great emotional pain, comes to Jesus in prayer, asking for relief. Music reflects the pain, hope, faith of the person as he / she prays to Jesus for relief. After the last words are sung, the piece again ends on soft, peaceful major chords, representing the peace and relief this tormented person receives from the Lord, as a result of this heart felt prayer.

This song can inspire people in emotional pain, going through personal trials to turn in faith and hope in prayer to a Savior who can heal, forgive, give peace and fortitude to endure anything experienced.

Lyrical Sample: (From English translation offered in the CD program)

1) Sorrow-laden and oppressed with care I come, take me to you, Haven of Mercy! Behold, with burning tears I come, in all humility, soiled with the dust of the earth. You alone can make me white, as the lambs' fleece. You will heal the wounds of one who turns to you in penitence; take the burden from me O Lord!


TWO HEBREW SONGS (By Maurice Ravel; 1875-1937) - Maurice Ravel liked folk songs, and wrote these as a pair, taking the text from The Society for Jewish Folk Music, Russia 1911.Kaddish is a song that praises the Lord for who He is, and L'énigme éternelle speaks to doubt that almost all believers experience at one time or another.

Kaddish - The Kaddish is the traditional Jewish mourner's prayer, sung at funerals and High Holy Days, the text a song of praise. Mostly singing, with soft chords on the upper octives of the piano, which slowly works its way down to include a broader range of notes, or rolled chords. Main melody is carried by Roach's strong mezzo-soprano expressive voice.

Lyrical Sample: Sung in Aramaic (From English translation offered in the CD program)

1) May His great name be magnified and hallowed in the world that He created according to His will. And may He reign over His kingdom in your lifetime and in your days and in the lifetime of the entire house of Israel, speedily in our day. And let us say Amen.

L'énigme éternelle -

Lyrical Sample: Sung in Yiddish (From English translation offered in the CD program).

The world asks the old question, Tra la, Tra la la la, Cometh the reply, Tra la la. If no one can answer thee, Tra la la, World, thou dost question us, Tra la la

Priez Pour Paix (Pray for Peace) - An Art Song composed by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), based on a poem by Charles d'Orleans.

An earnest plea, a prayer to the Virgin Mary, for intercession for peace. Sung in French.

Beautiful, interesting vocal and musical piano rendition that has a variety of harmonious to dissonant chords, minor to major key changes, and a good use of dynamics.

Lyrical Sample: Sung in French (From English translation offered in the CD program)

Pray for peace, gentle Virgin Mary, of your courtesy ask for the prayers of all the saints, and make your address To your Son, beseeching his Majesty. That he may please to look upon his people, Whom He wished to redeem with his blood, Banishing war which disrupts all.

En Prière - Another Art Song composed by Gabriel Fauré specifically for piano based on a poem by Stephan Bordèse - Another favorite of this reviewer.

Inspirational - piano arpeggios and chords, a really glorious prayer chanson. The combination of the impressive singing of the very talented Cheryl Anne Roach and the marvelous, expressive piano playing by Pat Harpole, together really bring the spirit and beauty of this song alive for the listener.

A tender prayer asking to be empowered to teach the truth in such a way to change doubters attitudes from disbelief to humble reverence for God, and to be empowered with gentleness to alleviate pain suffered by others.

Lyrical Sample: Sung in French (From English translation offered in the CD program)

If you have chosen me to teach your laws on earth, I will know how to serve You, holy King of Kings, O light! Place on my lips, O Lord, The salutary truth, So that whoever doubts, should with humility revere You. Reveal Yourself to me Lord, to whom I have faith and hope.

Selection 4: CANTATA - A contemporary setting of four traditional African American Spirituals by John Carter, a prolific 20th century composer. By not listing the titles of the songs themselves, the work moves from beginning to end as a unified whole, enabling the listener to hear familiar melodies in a new way.

Prelude - A piano introduction to a song cycle of these African American Spirituals.

Rondo (Peter Go Ring dem bells) - Impressive piano part (Pat Harpole was very busy!)

This Spiritual reinforces the belief that believers go home to be with the Lord after their life here on earth is through.

Lyrical Sample: O Peter go ring dem bells, I heard from heaven today. Wonder where my mother has gone, heard from heaven today.

Recitative (Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child).

Loneliness can be part of the human condition.

Lyrical Sample: Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, A long way from home. Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone, A long way from home.

Air (Let Us Break Bread Together on Our Knees) An African American Spiritual, based on ACTS 2:42: They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

A popular prayer hymn sung during Holy Communion in many denominations. A cure for loneliness is to be involved in Christian fellowship, being in prayer and ministry for Jesus Christ.

Lyrical Sample: 1) Let us break bread together on our knees, When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun, O Lord have mercy on me.

Toccata (Ride On King Jesus) - An INSPIRATIONAL, uplifting, driving Spiritual to encourage & fortify Christians to promote the gospel and live the Christian life. We are empowered by our faith in Jesus Christ.

Lyrical Sample: Ride On King Jesus, no man can hinder me, He is King of Kings, He is Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, first and last, no man works like him.

To find out more about Cheryl Anne Roach, to listen to a sample of her CD songs, and / or order this impressive CD, IN THE MORNIN', go to her Web-Site:

Reviewed by: Julie Carr for