BP1716, SATB, $2.25
Written at a spirited tempo of a quarter note at 138, this rhythmic anthem starts with a unison ascending phrase in G minor and loudly proclaims “God is our refuge and strength.” The driving piano accompaniment contrasts effectively with the long choral phrasing throughout the first section. Hayes has masterfully underscored the text using easy-to-sing syncopations and bold harmonies to portray the strength and dynamism of this passage from Psalm 46. The middle section is set in G major, referencing “the river whose streams make glad the city of God,” making a nice foil to the opening and closing theme in G minor. The ending showcases the piano, playing a driving progression in mixed meter as the choir sustains the final G minor chord, making for a dramatic finale.