HMC1893, SAB, $2.45
Commissioned by the Federation of American Baptist Musicians in memory of esteemed publisher and friend, Don Hinshaw, this stirring anthem features an outstanding text by John Parker. The first section is from Ecclesiastes, and explores the transience and vanity of life as expressed by Solomon. Hayes has set this section in a lyrical, haunting minor mode that evokes a sense of longing and emptiness. As the phrase, “All is empty, all is vain” lingers in the air, the choir softly but confidently answers the question with “To love our God is the reason we live, to love our God – the highest call.” Hayes has created a stirring anthem which continues to build slowly and steadily to a dramatic conclusion, employing diverse modulations and the use of polyphonic writing. With the exception of a few optional notes in the last chord, the piece is expertly written in three parts and is within the reach of most choirs and will push your choir to sing with great artistry and musicality.