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Da Pacem Domine

for SSAA(TB) choir and soprano saxophone

Year:  2020   ·  Duration:  4m
Instrumentation:  SSAA(TB) choir, soprano saxophone (or appropriate alternative)

Year:  2020
Duration:  4m
Instrumentation  SSAA(TB) choir, soprano sax...

David Hamilton

Composer:   David Hamilton

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: pages 1–3 of score

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With choirs unable to gather together in 2020 in many parts of the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, many choirs were exploring ways of keeping singing on-line. A number of ‘virtual choirs’ popped up, although these took a large amount of work and dedication from all involved!

When conductor David Gordon (Haileybury School in Melbourne, Australia) mentioned the idea of creating something his school choirs could rehearse and sing on-line, I took up the challenge of creating something that required limited preparation and minimal input from a conductor. The instrumental part (ideally a soprano saxophone, but any suitable alternative would be fine) is used for singers to cue from. In other places, choral parts simply listen to each other - hearing a change of material which they in turn cue from.

The starting point for the work is the plainchant “Da pacem Domine” ("Grant peace, Lord"). This simple melody, suggestive of a D minor tonality, is first heard from the saxophone. It is then presented phrase by phrase in the choral parts, repeating and overlapping in the voice parts. Against this the saxophone has a melismatic part, suggesting an improvised solo which weaves in and out of the choral texture.

Da Pacem Domine is dedicated to David Gordon and the choirs of Haileybury School (Melbourne, Australia).

Dedication note

for David Gordon and the choirs of Haileybury School (Melbourne, Australia)

Text note

Text from the plainchant of the same name