Jenni Brandon’s Vive La Liberté Performed for The Lafayette United Methodist Church

vive la libtere cover

As part of the Lafayette United Methodist Church online worship service on July 5, 2020, they paid tribute to their city’s namesake, the Marquis de Lafayette. Sites around Lafayette, California were recorded in June and July 2020 with videography by Rev. Robin Wells, Pastor. and the music synchronized with the video.  Vive La Liberté for SA choir, flute, percussion, piano by Jenni Brandon was originally commissioned by the 250 Lafayette Committee for a celebration of the Marquis de Lafayette in Fayetteville, NC in 2007.

This work celebrates Lafayette’s dedication to freedom and liberty for all. This recording was Performed by the Cal State Fullerton Women’s Choir under the direction of Erin Colwitz in 2008. (used by permission of composer). For more information please visit

The statue of General Lafayette in Lafayette California was placed in Lafayette Plaza Park in 1991 and represents a “Spirit of cooperation, as indicated on its memorial plaque.” Videography by Rev. Robin Wells, Pastor of Lafayette United Methodist Church, CA

Vive la Liberté was commissioned to celebrate the life of the Marquis de Lafayette and his constant belief in liberty and freedom for all people. His involvement in this quest stretched from the American Revolution through the French Revolution and beyond. He was a remarkable individual, and I thought a fitting way to honor him would be through composing a piece that encompassed his lifelong dedication to freedom on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and by combining texts that showed these virtues.

The phrase “Vive Lafayette! Vive la Liberté!” which was shouted by the people during the French Revolution as he fought for their rights also serves as a fitting way to honor him in the opening of this piece. The quote “Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” was apparently spoken by Lafayette after the defeat of the British during the battle of Yorktown in Virginia. The final quote “America is destined to become the safe and venerable asylum of virtue, of honesty, of tolerance, and of peaceful liberty” was taken from a letter the young idealist Lafayette wrote to his wife, Adrienne, as he sailed toward America in 1777, ready to join the ranks of the Americans in the fight for their freedom. The final lines of the piece bring together the French phrase “Vive Lafayette! Vive la Liberté!” and “Humanity and Liberty!” to symbolize Lafayette’s universal belief in liberty.

Lafayette was a hero to the people during his lifetime, and in honoring him through this piece I hope that we will continue to recognize his dedication to freedom and to follow in his footsteps.