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View/download a PDF file of selected sample pages from the score of this work. For perusal only -- not printable. N.B.: This work is not available for performance before April 29, 2022.
Celebration of the Centennial of The Augustana Choir: 1921-2021 for premiere on April 29, 2022, Dr. Paul Nesheim, conductor, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
This song was composed after enduring a year-and-a-half of the COVID pandemic crisis. Thus, the familiar lyrics (from the hymn Amazing Grace) seem very appropriate:
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come.
Your grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.
The musical setting opens with expressions of anxiety (tremoli in the accompaniment, semitone oscillations in the choral lines). Even the environment is threatened (the earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun shall cease to shine). Eventually, faith brings strength and triumph (when we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun).
The music shifts to the major mode for the ending section. And only then, in the final phrase, is the original hymn title revealed, in reverse order, to bring special attention to each word: Grace...AMAZING!
Notes by the composer