Paul Ayres’s new piece for SATB choir and piano, “When we sing together” has won third prize in an anthem composition competition held by University Park UMC in Dallas.
Full text and youtube demo recording below, along with a link to Paul’s website, for perusal scores.
Regarding the award, Paul wrote on his facebook page: <>
When we sing alone, we send out our voice into the void,
we wait for an echo from the world, from outside, from beyond,
and when we pour our breath and soul into the song, setting our small selves aside,
we start to hear the heavenly music, the sound to which we belong.
But when we sing together, we harmonize not only our voices,
but our spirits, and journeys, and longings, and hearts,
and when we make our music, we grow into communion,
and know we may become more than the sum of our parts.
When we lose ourselves in the refrain,
it is not a loss, more a possibility to gain
a new way to see that “when we give, we receive,”
and could we dare to believe we can live more fully in unity?
In such community, in concert with each other,
we are not identical, but equal in dignity,
duly respecting all our differences, which do not disappear,
learning how to see them in perspective.
For when we sing together, we enter to the Presence
of glory far beyond our sense of time and space,
where present, past and future appear to us to melt away,
revealing at the centre such a state of grace,
the music of the spheres, the seraphim on high
in harmony with angels’ hallelujahs, the company of heaven,
whose choirs combine and unite in praise,
worshipping as one in peace and joy and hope and wondrous love and glory.
Given as vision for a tantalizing, transitory moment,
when we sing together.