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There is a Balm in Gilead

  • Instrumentation: Unison, two-part, or SAB voices, and keyboard 

  • Duration: 3:00'

  • Suitable for choirs of all ability levels.

  • Suitable for worship or concert performance.


Program Note


This piece is one in a series of familiar hymn tunes set with a contemporary harmonic palette, and presented so as to be performable by choirs of all levels with very little rehearsal time.  

I've never been satisfied with the many setting and arrangements of this spiritual, as I felt the presentation always got in the way of the text and melody. Though this setting can be seen as busy, with its running eight note figures, I sought to create a hypnotic, translucent foundation over which the subject could float freely, suggesting the lofty simplicity of its sentiment. I hope I succeeded.  


Andrea Maguire

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