for mixed voices (SSATB) a cappellaText
Text: English (Antiphon for the first Vespers of Epiphany)
Duration: 2 minutes
Use: Christmas, Epiphany
Ben Ponniah started singing at St Mary-le-Tower Church in 1990 when he was six years old. John Cooper was the Organist and Director of Music at the time, followed by Michael Nicholas. Seeing the star is the composer’s way of saying thank you to St Mary-le-Tower for providing such an inspiring choral education. In this piece, the wonderment of the Wise Men is captured, as they look up at the star on their journey to the baby Jesus. The soprano part (which includes minimal divisi) is initially characterised by increasing intervals, to reflect the upward gaze of the Wise Men. Tone clusters are used to create a shimmering starlight effect. A short, effective and approachable new carol for Epiphany or Christmas.
Seeing the star, the Wise Men rejoiced with great joy, and entering the house, they offered the Lord gold, incense and myrrh. Seeing the star, seeing the Lord.Ben Ponniah
Ben Ponniah is a British composer. His music has been performed at cathedrals and chapels around the world, as well as being broadcast on radio, including by the BBC Singers on BBC Radio 3. It also features on a number of CDs including Celestial Dawn (Signum Classics) by The Pembroke College Girls’ Choir and Marvellous Light (Regent Records) by The Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge. Ben was awarded the Derek Ogston Postgraduate Music Scholarship by the University of Aberdeen in support of his PhD in Composition. His love of sacred music stems from his choral background, which started at St Mary-le-Tower Church in Ipswich. His first degrees were in Economics, after which he explored jazz piano, which rekindled his love for composition.