In the summer of 2012, I was determined to stretch out the percussion solo that segued the end of "Jezebel and the Infidel" to "Now The Belong to the Ages" and create an entire song from it. And I kept thinking as I was composing "Long Live The King" there's an African dancer dancing at this moment which inspired me to come up with the simple lyric "The King is dead, Long Live the King". When we started rehearsals in September, I asked our South African singer Portia Solani Manyike if she could dance and she said "Of course I can!" and that was when I realised that something magic had happened over the summer. I wrote this song without a piano or a guitar, and when I heard it for the first time,  I knew that i had hit the nail on the head. The timbres of the violin, viola and cello strings and the skins and sticks Talking Drums mixed with the sound of voices singing and hands clapping is a very warm and earthy and real. I am very satisfied with this music. In the performance that you have here, the reaction of the public (whether the kid's show in the afternoon or the adults in the evening) was monumental. I could feel the roof flying off the theater, all of the tension and rage from the shooter's song just before leaps out into an incredible release of the dance and percussion performance.
Dramatically, this moment in the show is highly influenced by my experiences in Ghana. The ritual of funerals there is very different than in the West; a funeral there is often a party with lots of music along with dancing and singing. Therefore, when Martin Luther King, Jr. is shot and killed in the show, this horrific moment evolves into the celebratory refrain of "Long Live the King". Our hero has now entered the Kingdom of Heaven and we should rejoice on everything that he did with his great life and works.


TENORS 2 Parts:            THE KING IS DEAD
TEN:                     THE KING IS DEAD 
SOP/ALT :                     LONG LIVE THE KING 
TEN :                            THE KING IS DEAD 
SOP/ALT :                       LONG LIVE THE KING 
TEN :                            THE KING IS DEAD
SOP/ALT :                       LONG LIVE… 
TEN :                            THE KING! 
SOP/ALT :                       THE KING! 
TEN :                            THE KING! 
SOP/ALT :                       THE KING! 
TUTTI :                             KING! KING! KING! KING! 
CLAP HANDS… stop and start / African dance and percussion solo 
SOP/ALT :       LONG LIVE THE KING (many times, softer and softer leading to the chords of “Now They Belong to the Ages”).