Hear My Voice
SATB Choir (divisi)

$2.00 per score

About the Work

Hear My Voice was commissioned by Edie & Thomas W. Johnston, and was premiered on October 20, 2019 at Epiphany Parish in Seattle, Washington.

Program Notes

When discussing possible texts for this commission; Tom, Zach Hemenway (Director of Music at Epiphany Parish), and I agreed that Let Nothing Disturb Thee by St. Teresa of Ávila—using the English translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow—would be a meaningful text for embodying the message of peace and hope that is central to this work. As I was composing the music, I wanted to give St. Teresa’s message even more significance, so I decided to contrast it with a text that represents our human search for hope during times of despair, and the words of Psalm 130 (Out of the Depths) immediately came to mind. As a result, I decided to juxtapose the two texts, with a soprano soloist singing the words of Psalm 130—representing each individual reaching out for help during times of trouble—while the choir responds with the words of St. Teresa, channeling her message of peace and calm. This dialogue between the two texts eventually culminates in the merging of “God alone suffices” (from St. Teresa) with “In His word is my hope” (from Psalm 130) to form “God alone is my hope” in order to amplify and make explicit the spirit of hope that is present in both texts. Coincidentally, the Johnston Family’s commissioning statement included the words Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be the Glory), which further articulates this message of God being the ultimate source of comfort and hope. The work concludes with the soloist (representing each of us) singing the words “I have called to you, O Lord, Hear My Voice,” signifying that we can trust that our voices and our supplications will be heard and answered during times of trouble.

Text

Let nothing disturb thee,

Nothing affright thee;

All things are passing;

God never change[s];

Patient endurance

Attaineth to all things;

Who God possesse[s]

In nothing is wanting;

Alone God suffice[s].

     St. Teresa of Ávila

     trans. by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;

Lord, hear my voice;

let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

 

I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;

In His word is my hope.

     Psalm 130, vs. 1 and 4