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Sample pagesfor mixed choir (SATB div) a cappella
Text: English (Psalm 91)
Duration: c3'30''
Difficulty: 3/5

Composer’s note
Psalm 91 has long been my favourite and when pondering possible texts for an uplifting anthem, it seemed an obvious choice. I intended initially to use more of the text, but the first two verses proved more than ample. The first section of my setting has an almost chant-like quality, beginning with the tenors and basses a bare 4th apart. The altos join and reiterate the first line of the psalm, again chanting a single note. In this static melody I hoped to convey a sense of lingering – dwelling in the secret place of the Most High.

Things become more varied melodically in the middle section of the piece and the music intensifies harmonically to reach a climax in bar 50, where the opening ideas and text return, but now in a higher key and with a fuller sound. A few bars later the sound drops away and there is a more intimate feel to the music as the lower parts provide a homophonic backdrop to the soprano melody. The music ends softly and peacefully at rest, under the shadow of the Almighty.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Psalm 91, vv1–2 (King James Version)

Becky McGlade
Becky was born in 1974 and grew up in Cornwall. She studied music at Royal Holloway, University of London, and after graduating, returned to Cornwall where she now leads a busy musical life as a composer, cellist, and piano and cello teacher. Becky developed a love of singing at an early age and her interest in sacred choral music grew during her time as a member of the Royal Holloway Chapel Choir. She now composes mainly choral music and draws much of her inspiration from her Christian faith. Her works, which include psalm settings, carols, and settings of other texts, biblical and secular, are written in a recognisable, engaging and personal style. Becky’s setting of Christina Rossetti’s poem In the bleak midwinter has become very widely performed following its premiere recording by Truro Cathedral Choir, broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and publication by Boosey & Hawkes. She has also written numerous songs for solo voice and works for string ensembles.

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