For TTBB with piano and percussion
I first became aware of the pure talent of the Cheng-Gong High School Male Choir when I was initially contacted by their conductor, Nieh Yen-Hsiang, back in 2013. I'm not sure what others think of when they think about high school male voice, but I personally have scaring memories of my voice squeaking at the worst possible moments. Whatever preconceptions you have about the high school male voice, set those aside and listen to a recording of this choir in disbelief. The sound that their conductor is able to achieve easily rivals many collegiate male ensembles. After a quick search of this ensemble, you will also discover that in 2013 they were the winners of the Busan Choral Festival, an international choral competition.
When I was asked to write a piece for this ensemble's 60th anniversary, I knew that the piece had to show off this choirs virtuosic abilities along with its ability to be lyrical and sensitive. After a short consideration of texts I came across the text, "Gloria" and immediately ideas began to flood my mind. The intro of this piece resembles a fanfare and symbolizes the royalty of God. Soon after, the piece enters an exciting exclamation of the text, "Gloria, glory in excelsis Deo" by the choir with a melody laid over the top and leads into simple and complex mixed meters. The use of 6/8 and 4/4 represents a few things in my eyes. First of all, the combination of three and two represents humanity and God coming together. Lastly, 6/8 represents the dance and celebration of the word, "Gloria."
The composition eventually comes to a dramatic and lyrical portion representing peace and comfort. In this portion I wanted to capture the feeling of the Holy Spirit instilling peace into one's soul. I also wanted to capture the image of light. Primarily, I tried to obtain these images in measures 61 - 68 with the us of the piano and the building of the word, "peace," in the choral lines.
When I think of the word peace, I think of becoming whole with one's self and well rounded. To capture this I only saw one possibility, to make this piece a sort of palindrome in structure with the piece being similar forward and backward.
- A section
- B section (peace)
- A' prime section
Often times I feel as if we as humans lose our balance. We forget who we are due to influences around us. It is important to step back once and a while, mediate on the good in your life and be thankful for those blessings. Think of the path you have taken and where the bath could possibly take you.
Ensemble: Cheng-Gong High School Choir (Taiwan)
Conductor: Nieh Yen-Hsiang
Glória in excélsis Deo et in terra pax homínibus bonæ voluntátis.
Glory be to God on highAnd in earth peace, goodwill towards men
2016 at the National Thaeater and Concert Hall, Taipei by the Cheng-Gong High School Choir under the direction of Nieh, Yen Hsiang.