work details

Glory and Peace

  • Instrumentation: SATB, trumpet, piano, and string quintet (or orchestra)
  • Completed: July 2019
  • Duration: 12 minutes
  • Texts: On a text adapted by the composer from Luke 2:8-20
  • Commission:

    Commissioned by and dedicated to the Falls Church Presbyterian Church Choir and their director, Dr. Lisa Billingham.

  • Composer's Note and Text:

    Glory and Peace is the second work that I have been commissioned to write by Lisa Billingham and the forward-thinking leaders of Falls Church Presbyterian Church in Falls Church, Virginia. Where the first work I composed was a work for Easter on an original text by Myra Binns Bridgforth, this second work is for Christmas, with a text I’ve reworked from the Gospel of Luke:  

    I.
    And there were shepherds in the nearby fields tending to their flocks that night.
    Suddenly, an angel of God appeared before them, and they were terrified.
                Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

    II.
    But the angel calmed the shepherds, saying:
    "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will be a joy to all people:
    Today in the city of David, a Savior has been born, for you: he is the Messiah."
                Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

    III.
    And then the shepherds in the nearby fields beheld a great sight,
    for suddenly a great multitude appeared, praising God and saying:
    "Glory be to God in the highest and peace to all people on earth."
                Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

    While I’ve divided the text into three distinct sections – with the inclusion of the Agnus Dei – the music is continuous. The words tell the story of the shepherds in the field and the appearance of the angels. “Do not be afraid,” they say, “I bring you good news that will be a joy to all people.”

    Indeed, this music is filled with both mystery and majesty, unbridled joy and comforting peace. In fact, in the song of the angels, we have the great gifts mentioned in our title: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all people on earth.” It is these two ideas – glory and peace – that permeate this work and all of the Christmas season with hope for a brighter future for all humanity.

  • Performances:
    • December 15, 2019 (premiere)
      Falls Church Presbyterian Church Choir
      Lisa Billingham, conductor
      Falls Church Presbyterian Church - Falls Church, VA