This carol was commissioned by Celia Ellingson through LutheranArts in honor of Gary Aamodt’s 80th Birthday, December 25, 2017, and dedicated to the annual St Olaf College Christmas Festival. It uses the text of two poems by the philosopher and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman, which remind us that Christmas is a time for helping others less fortunate or troubled. Arnesen writes: “Advent and Christmas are times of excitement and celebration. However, it is difficult not to see the darkness of the world, and it is in darkness that we need light. The candle can light our hope and remind us that we are much more than what is darkest in our lives. Therefore this time of the year can be one of light over the darkness. I hope the message in this carol can guide us to become carriers of a light that brings joy, hope, courage, peace, grace, and love, now and when the star dims.” This message is portrayed through the composer’s recognisably flowing melodies and rich harmony, which come together to create a stunning carol for intermediate choirs.
Versions with full orchestra and small orchestra accompaniment are available from the publisher. The choral parts are the same in all versions.
Diverse in terms of theme and mood, with works suitable for a variety of festive and commemorative occasions, both sacred and secular, this series provides an exciting collection of contemporary works for choirs of all types, voicings and abilities.
Spanning many different styles including the jazz-influenced world of Will Todd’s Jazz Carols and Iain Farrington’s The Blues Service, the tranquil beauty of James MacMillan’s Ave Maris Stella, and the energetic jubilation of Gareth Treseder’s Blessed be that Maid Marie, the series provides a wealth of new music, perfect for choirs looking to expand their horizons and explore new repertoire.