Gwyneth Walker

"Chester" and "When Jesus Wept"

for SATB Chorus, Piano, and Opt. Percussion (2006)
When Jesus Wept only is available
for SATB Chorus, Organ, and Opt. Brass Quartet and Percussion (2009)

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Download an MP3 file of a performance of "Chester" by the The Master Singers of Worcester and the Salisbury Singers, Malcolm Halliday, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of "When Jesus Wept" by the The Master Singers of Worcester and the Salisbury Singers, Malcolm Halliday, conductor.

Download a PDF file of the choral score of "Chester." For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the choral score of "When Jesus Wept." For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the brass score of "When Jesus Wept." For perusal only -- not printable.


Words and music of William Billings (1746-1800 -- Boston, Massachusetts) provide the chronological beginning of New England repertoire. “Chester,” a popular song from the Colonial era, is a brashly patriotic hymn. This new adaptation includes the optional addition of a military drum. The theme of this song is a bravura “New England’s Soul forever reigns!”

“When Jesus Wept,” another Billings song, was a well-known sacred “fuging tune” (sung as a round). In this presentation, the words “My Son” are interjected into the song as part of the personal suffering associated with the text. The “falling tears” images in the lyrics appear as ostinato patterns in the piano accompaniment. The church bells (chimes) ring a lament.

Notes by the composer