Gwyneth Walker

The Day is Done

for Children's Chorus (SA), SATB Chorus, and Piano (2018)
for Children's Chorus (SA), SATB Chorus, Flute, Percussion, and Strings (2018)

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Download a PDF file of the piano score of this composition. N.B.: This work may not be performed before May 2019.

Download a PDF file of the full score of this composition.


Commissioned by The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, PA, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Bel Canto Youth Chorus and the merger of Bel Canto Youth Chorus with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem: 1994-2019

The poem, The Day is Done, speaks of evening as the time when poetry and music come alive. They soothe the cares of day. The soul hears the music of celestial harmonies. This is a benediction that follows after prayer.

The musical setting presents the opening, beautiful lyrics in the children's voices, selected for their lightness and purity of tone. The day is done, and the darkness falls from the wings of night. These phrases, or slight variations thereof, return as refrains throughout the song, always falling gently.

The verses alternate between the men's and women's voices, with the children interjecting refrains or offering commentary in the background. Finally, the children interrupt the SATB dialogue with exclamations of a song! a song! a song! These lead to the climax of the song, given to the children's chorus, singing And the night shall be filled with music. All voices then join together in celebration: Our song shall fill the night.

The accompaniment (originally composed for piano, later to be adapted for flute, strings, and percussion) delights in text-setting with sparkling arpeggios depicting the celestial harmonies, and filigree patterns for the star-filled night sky.

Notes by the composer