Flutist Edward Norton, 82, will perform his first original cantata, Epiphany, Saturday in York City. He describes the piece as a journey from desperation
Flutist Edward Norton, 82, will perform his first original cantata, Epiphany, Saturday in York City. He describes the piece as a journey from desperation to renewed faith in God. (Bil Bowden photo)

From faithlessness to hope and healing.

Edward Norton, 82, said he's had that experience and shares it in "Epiphany: A (Quaker) Cantata of Faith Music and Libretto," which he will present at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at York Friends Meeting, 135 W. Philadelphia St. in York City.

"I wrote it from personal experience," said Norton, a flutist, of Abbottstown. "It's about experiencing the desperation of not having faith, or having faith and then losing it. Then you get the revelation that everything wasn't so dark and dismal."

Healing: Norton said his healing came from God answering his desperation and renewing his faith.

Norton will perform the cantata with his wife, Frances, a pianist, and soprano soloist Marti[eya: cq: ] Black of Middletown, Dauphin County.

The cantata - which will take about 50 minutes to perform - has three movements.

The first movement called "Supplication," deals with lost faith, loneliness, darkness and prayers for help from God. The second movement is "Revelation," which shows the appearance of love, happiness and the brightness of hope coming from God.

In the third movement, "Peace and Gratitude," God is thanked for answering the prayer, lifting the darkness and bringing peace.

Inspired: Norton, a flutist since his childhood, said he was inspired in October 2010 to write the cantata.

"I was sitting at meeting, for worship, when I had a leading," Norton said. "I was moved to create this cantata. It took me about six months to compose."

The cantata was recorded on CD in 2012.

Norton said this is the first time he has written a cantata and is grateful the Saturday May 4 performance will include his wife. The Nortons also play together in Flute and Friends ensemble, founded by Norton.

"My wife playing piano, that's a blessing, extremely helpful," he said. "We feel music the same way."

- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.