When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled (SATB, flute)

SATB, flute

A rhythmically vital setting of Howard Thurman's magnificent poem about the true "work of Christmas." Informed by South African part-writing and the rhythmic impulse of African-American spirituals, this piece lends a powerful relevance to Christmas which extends far beyond Epiphany.


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Named one of Creator Magazine's "Honored Ten" Anthems [Original SATB Arrangement]


"...The most memorable moment might almost have been an afterthought: the second encore, received by a crowd of about 300, who seemed reluctant to leave at the end of the evening. With delicacy and sincerity, the singers turned silence into stillness with Elizabeth Alexander's contemplative and hopeful When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled set to Howard Thurman's poignant text." - The Wednesday Journal (Chicago)

"A lovely, homophonic anthem...and what a text!" - Creator Magazine

Text Author or Source: 
Howard Thurman

"When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled"
Poem by Howard Thurman

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.

From "The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations" by Howard Thurman.
© 1985 by Friends United Press. Used by permission.