Little Christmas Mass


for SA divisi choir (2018)



Kyrie Eleison
Agnus Dei

Program Notes

As is true for many singers, my earliest exposure to choral music was in the choir of the church I attended throughout my childhood. In the rural corner of northern Vermont where I grew up, live music of any kind at a Catholic service is a rarity. My musical family has been at the center of their parish choir for generations: my grandmother led the group for decades, and when she retired my mother took over. The ten-odd women who comprise the choir joke that the day I take over will be the day they quit. Only a few of the members read music, so for the most part they learn by ear. They are, however, familiar with the Latin text (and eye-rolling at the silent “g” in “Angus” has nearly ceased), thanks to the setting my mother composed for them several years ago. My hope with this piece was to write these singers a work that would be challenging but not overwhelming – which they could learn primarily by ear or by rote, and which might expand their harmonic language but still sound beautiful to them. It is an offering of my gratitude for the unwavering support they have given me for my entire musical career.


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