7 March 2015

"Aesthetic Expression for Worship"

One of my classes this term is Worship Foundations, where we explore different aspects of worship and how they all fit together.  And in this class, one of our assignments is to create an "Aesthetic Expression for Worship."  The assignment guidelines are very broad - it must be an original created for this class; it is to be an expression of faith; and it is to be something that can be used in a worship service.  Beyond that, the sky is the limit.  The assignment guidelines say that it could be a drama, video, musical score, paraments, banner, dance etc.  I know of students in previous years who have done wood carvings, created communion vessels, choreographed and performed a liturgical dance…

When I heard about this assignment, I knew right away what I was going to do.  About a year and a half ago, I came across a poem by Hildegarde of Bingen that spoke to my heart.  I copied it out so that I could carry it with me literally as well as figuratively, and I knew that I wanted to do something musical with it.  This course is giving me the excuse to spend the time turning this poem into a choral anthem.

It has been a fun process.  I have been learning how to use software to write out the score - anything I have written in the past has been just for me, and so it didn't matter if no one else could read my musical notation.  And in the process, I have discovered that this software not only produces a neater score than I could do myself, but it is also faster than writing out music by hand.

I have also been recruiting choir members, since I can't present this artistic expression by myself.  We are setting up choir practices over the next couple of weeks so that everyone can learn the music; which gives me a deadline of Monday to finish getting the music out of my head and in to the computer so that I can distribute it to my awesome choir members.  And then on March 24, we will be presenting to the rest of the class; and then on March 26 it will be included in the school chapel service for everyone.

A bit stressful, yes (this is my first attempt at writing choral music - I've stuck with piano or piano and voice in the past); but so much fun at the same time!

The poem, written out on the piece of paper that I have
carried with me for the past year and a half.

A work in progress.


  1. Wow......sure it will turn out great!

  2. Can I join your choir?!
    Dada s

  3. I would love to have you join my choir! Can you make it out here for the last week in March??? I've been finishing up adding all of the notes in this evening, and will add in dynamics tomorrow morning before printing it and distributing copies to the choir members who have volunteered.