Through the Desert
A Hymn for Lent
for SATB Choir, Assembly, optional Cantor, and Piano (2020)
premiered February 26, 2020,
The Church of St. Peter
Saratoga Springs, NY
Used throughout the season of Lent 2020
About Through the Desert:
Through the Desert (2020) was composed as a Lenten hymn, drawing upon the "desert" image often associated with the 40-day fast of Lent, based upon Jesus' own 40-day fast in the desert at the beginning of his public ministry. During this fast, Jesus is tempted three times by the Devil, each time being an example of overarching human temptations, namely, hunger, pride, and desire for power. Each temptation is resisted by Jesus. The verses of this hymn attempt to draw upon Jesus' resistance to these temptations as models for how we can come before God during the Lenten season, wherein we seek to empty ourselves to be more open to God and God's love.
Have a look at the sample score above to get a sense of how this is brought out in this relatively simple hymn.
Have a listen to the audio below, which is a MIDI rendering with a live vocal track. This recording also contains a newly composed "C instrument" obbligato part, rendered here with a trumpet sample.