Over the past year I've been able to work with the choirs of Victoria College, Jersey on a number of my pieces, including the Founders' Day Anthem I wrote for the combined Junior, Senior and Staff choirs back in September, and a new commission for the summer: Great is the sun.
This piece marked the inaugural performance by a new group at the school - Sei Voce, made up of just six treble voices taken from the Junior Choir. It was a lovely experience to work with the students and their conductor, Stephanie Humphries, on this piece, and to mark the beginning of a new ensemble with the creation of a new work. It's always difficult to choose texts for young male singers, but I think/hope that this gentle Robert Louis Stevenson poem fits the bill nicely.
Here's a live recording from the first performance:
GREAT is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven without repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.
Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.
The dusty attic, spider-clad,
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.
Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.
Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.