Instrumentation: SATB (Divisi) Choir & Piano
Commissioned by: Dr. Mary Breden & the Loyola Marymount University Concert Choir (2018)
Light in the Darkness, commissioned by and dedicated to Dr. Mary Breden, sets the Christmas poem “Light in the Darkness” by poet Norval Clyne (1817-1888). The bright and bell-like piano accompaniment, although sometimes also quiet and pensive, reflects the simultaneous darkness of winter and the shining hope that the Savior’s birth brings the world on Christmas morning. Steadily building in intensity throughout the piece, the choir proclaims the coming great Light that is about to shine. The piece also features surprising modal shifts, harmonic progressions, and modulations.
This carol would fit well in any holiday-themed concert, Festival of Lessons and Carols, or sacred Christmas and/or Epiphany service.
The piece was premiered by the LMU Concert Choir, conducted by Dr. Mary Breden, on December 6th and 8th, 2018 at Sacred Heart Chapel at Loyola Marymount University.
The welcome snow at Christmas-tyde
Falls shining from the skies:
On village paths and uplands wide
All holy-white it lies;
It crowns with pearl the oaks and pines,
And glitters on the thorn,
And purer is the Light that shines
On gladsome Christmas morn.
‘Twas when the world was waxing old,
And night on Bethlehem lay,
The shepherds saw the heavens unfold
A light beyond the day;
Such glory ne’er had visited
A world with sin outworn;
But yet more glorious Light is shed
On happy Christmas morn.
Those shepherds poor, how blest were they
The angels’ song to hear!
In manger cradle as He lay,
To greet their Lord so dear!
The Lord of Heaven’s eternal height
For us a Child was born:
And He, the very Light of Light,
Shone forth that Christmas morn!