The Striking (2016)

for SATB

Duration: 6 minutes

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St. Norbert College Chamber Choir, conducted by the composer

Program Note:

Commissioned by Sarah Parks and the Saint Norbert College Chamber Choir, The Striking is a setting of the biblical text that inspired Norbert of Xanten to a life of sainthood. In the year 1115, a lighting bolt struck at the feet of Norbert’s horse. In shock, Norbert interpreted this event to be a signal from God to change the direction of his life. The words of Psalms 34 (33) came to Norbert’s mind, specifically verses 12-15:

"Come, children, and hear me, that I may teach you the fear of the Lord.

Who is eager for life and longs to see prosperous days?

Guard your tongue from evil, and your lips from deceit.

Turn aside from evil and do good. Seek after peace, and pursue it.”

This work is a dramatic choral setting that seeks to convey the intensity of those verses, as well as the awe and conviction with which Norbert must have felt compelled by them.