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Mirabile Mysterium

  • Premiere: May 2004 / University of Southern Mississippi Chorale / Dr. Gregory Fuller

  • Instrumentation: SATB unaccompanied

  • Duration: 3:08'

  • Text: Benediction for the Morning Office on the Octave of the Nativity

  • Suitable for advanced High School, collegiate, adult amateur, and professional choirs 

  • Appropriate for worship or concert performance


Program Note


The piece that stared it all. The first version was written without text while on vacation at Bethany Beach, Delaware in August, 2002.  The piece was then tweaked in composition lessons over the next two years with my first teacher, Luigi Zaninelli. At some point, I found a copy of Ron Jeffers' Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire, Volume One - Sacred Latin Texts, fell in love with the sublime Mirabile Mysterium, and simply laid it on top of the music.


It was my first completed work while studying at Southern Miss, my first premiere, my first choral work. Everyone around me thought I knocked it out of the park on the first pitch, and for a long time, so did I.   After graduation, I fruitlessly tried to duplicate this piece, and came closest with Bless, O Lord, Thy Servants. For a long time, I held tightly to it, offering it up for performance only once - to Dr. Marylin Keiser at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bloomington, Indiana. Many other works came to me and went out, but this one stayed in the box.


Finally, this little gem taught me about sending it all out into the world. I offered it up for publication, gave away the copyright, and let it have its life. It is still, however, very dear to me, and everything I wrote after it - every phrasing, counterpoint, text setting had its first iteration in these lovely three minutes.   

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