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Lincoln

YEAR: 2018
DURATION: 5 minutes
CATEGORY: Choral
INSTRUMENTATION: SATB Choir
PREMIERE: March 4, 2018
Washington National Cathedral
Washington, D.C.
Conductor // Donald Nally
COMMISSION: Cathedral Choral Society

Program Note:

Lincoln is a reflection on the power of the individual. It explores the idea that change is not linear but gradual, and infused with an extreme amount of personal courage. This non-linear nature of change is embedded into the structure of the composition, for the setting of the text was crafted in a way that would reflect the overall affect of the poetry itself. Through the reiteration of each line of text, it is almost as though the repetition empowers the individual to continue on to the next line. It isn’t until the very end when the entire poem is recited in its purest form, ending the composition on a feeling of unity and togetherness.

Whose lonely soul

God kindled


is here remembered

by a people

their conflict healed

by the truth

that marches on

- dedicatory inscription at Washington National Cathedral for the statue of Abraham Lincoln bidding farewell to his friends at Springfield, Illinois (1861), composed (1984) by the Francis B. Sayre Jr., dean emeritus of the cathedral.